Oncology

WGBH's program, Greater Boston, talked with Dr. Kristine Burgess about how treating cancer in our companion animals helps inform how we treat humans.

The mission of the Harrington Oncology Program is to provide the highest quality care for companion animals with cancer. This is accomplished by integrating state-of-the-art diagnostic, medical, radiation therapy and surgical techniques.

The oncology service is led by board-certified specialists in medical and radiation oncology and is supported by a team of residents, dedicated technicians and staff. We work closely with a highly skilled surgery service, with expertise in surgical oncology, as well as with specialists in internal medicine and a variety of other services. This close collaboration allows us to offer options for treatment that are tailored to the individual patient, according to the tumor type, the particular health of the patient and the family's expectations. This could be either a comprehensive treatment plan that includes a combination of different therapies or a more conservative strategy focusing on palliative care.

The radiation oncology service boasts a sophisticated linear accelerator (Siemens Primus linear accelerator with 6MV photon and 6-21 MeV electron capabilities. This unit has a 56-leaf collimator that allows for intensity modulated radiation therapy). This is only one of a few such units in operation in veterinary medical establishments. Strontium plesiotherapy is also available.

The Harrington Oncology Program is recognized nationally as a leader in the field. The members of the service are engaged in ongoing research into the causes, biology and treatment of cancer, including environmental risk factors for cancer and novel cancer therapies.

  • Appointments: 508-839-5395

  • Emergencies: 508-887-4623

  • rDVM Client Liaison (Kelly Reed): 508-887-4794

  • Technicians experienced in chemotherapy administration, radiation therapy delivery and anesthesia
  • Intravenous, intralesional and intracavitary chemotherapy administration
  • Long continuous-rate infusions of chemotherapy (cisplatin, ifosfamide, dacarbazine, cytarabine) and amino bisphosphonates (pamidronate, zoledronate)
  • Ultrasound guided and manual needle-core (True-cut) biopsies
  • Incisional and punch biopsies
  • Bone marrow aspirates and biopsies
  • Melanoma vaccine administration
  • External beam radiation therapy with a 6MV linear accelerator with multileaf collimator and variable electron energies (range 6-18 MeV)
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy capability
  • Three-dimensional computerized radiation therapy planning
  • Strontium plesiotherapy radiation treatments
  • Investigational therapies – clinical studies
  • Make an Appointment

    To make an appointment please call the Foster Hospital for Small Animals appointment desk at (508) 839-5395.

    Contact Us
  • Non-Emergency Hours

    • Monday - Friday
      9.00am - 5.00pm
  • Emergency

    • Phone
      508-887-4623
    • 24 hours/day
      365 days/year
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