Two Tumors in Two Years: Canine Beating Brain Cancer Via New Treatment – Stereotactic Radiosurgery

PetCure Oncology at VRIC Recognizes Brain Tumor Awareness Month

CLIFTON, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#braintumor–Steve Venier knows a thing or two about sick animals. As a regional
manager for a large specialty and emergency animal hospital system, he
has seen hundreds of ill and injured patients over the years. So when
his own pet, a 10-year-old dog named Tina, was suddenly ailing, he
quickly brought her in for a comprehensive exam.

Tina was diagnosed with a trigeminal nerve sheath tumor – doubly
dangerous because of its proximity to the brainstem and confinement
within the skull.

Fortunately, new technologies have been developed to improve the
efficacy of treating a wider range of tumors, especially in delicate
locations like the brain. Veterinary oncologist Joshua Lachowicz, DVM,
DACVIM (Oncology) referred Tina to what was then known as the Veterinary
MRI and Radiotherapy Center of New Jersey. The progressive cancer care
and imaging center was among the first to deliver an emerging form of
advanced radiation therapy called stereotactic
radiosurgery (SRS)
. Now known as the Veterinary
Radiosurgery and Imaging Center (VRIC)
, the leading-edge practice is
part of a national network of cancer care centers operated by PetCure

SRS is an advanced form of radiation therapy with decades of success in
human medicine. Having recently become available to pets with cancer,
SRS offers significant benefits over conventional radiation therapy (RT)

  • offering treatment with the intent to cure cancer rather
    than just ease symptoms
  • enabling treatment of some tumors previously considered “inoperable”
    – including many brain tumors
  • delivering radiation with sub-millimeter precision in a noninvasive,
  • minimizing risk and side effects
  • requiring only 1-3 treatment sessions as opposed to 15-21

“I didn’t know there was even a possibility to cure her – and I am in
the industry,” said Steve. “It’s not like a simple tumor that can be
easily removed. But after doing research about SRS, seeing how
exceptional the VRIC team was, and learning that the equipment was
human-grade, I knew we were in the best possible hands.”

Tina had three SRS treatments delivered on consecutive days without any
side effects. One year later, a follow-up MRI showed the tumor had been reduced
by two-thirds of its original size
. Tina was on the path to being
cancer-free – until she had a seizure just after her treatment

Another MRI revealed a second tumor – completely unrelated to the first
– in the frontal lobe of her brain. This time it was a glioma, a brain
tumor that is very responsive to radiation therapy. Steve made another
appointment that ultimately led to another three-fraction treatment
course of SRS. Six months later, a follow-up MRI showed no trace of
the tumor
. With the exception of general aging, Tina’s personality
remained the same throughout the two years of treatment.

“Successfully navigating cancer care takes very careful application of
best practices in quality assurance, best technology, and highly trained
experts to provide the best outcome,” said Mike Jones, R.T. (T), VRIC
director of radiation therapy. “Using the same SRS technology with pets
that has been effectively utilized for humans for decades has been a
game-changer. We are saving lives every day.”

In recognition of May’s Brain
Tumor Awareness Month
, PetCure Oncology appreciates that brain
tumors occur in both humans and pets. Seizures are the most common
indication of brain tumors in dogs. Other symptoms may
include unusual behavior or temperament, vision problems, movement in
circles, uncoordinated movement, unsteady gait, lack of appetite,
inappropriate urination, and/or lethargy. While brain tumors in cats are
less common, they may display the same symptoms as dogs along with
head-pressing and unusual meowing. Seek immediate care for a pet that
shows indications of a brain tumor.

About PetCure Oncology

PetCure Oncology’s national network of veterinary cancer care centers
specializing in SRS includes Arizona
Veterinary Oncology
in Gilbert, Arizona, Care
in Cincinnati, Ohio, Veterinary
Radiosurgery and Imaging Center
in Clifton, New Jersey, and
Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Additional
centers across the country are in various stages of development. Visit
for more information.


JoAnn Stewart, RVT, CVPM – COO, PetCure Oncology
847-275-8600 |