Canada's most advanced multidisciplinary Veterinary Cancer Centre opens in Calgary

    CALGARY, April 14 /CNW/ - Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency
Centre (WVSEC) today officially opened Canada's first multidisciplinary cancer
unit for veterinary patients with the addition of a new form of radiation
    "Today is a big day for us as we achieved our vision that has evolved
over the past 10 years to culminate in the opening of the Western Vet Cancer
Centre," said Dr. Dave Szentimrey, veterinary surgeon. "Adding radiation
therapy is the final step in combining the diverse skills and expertise
required to treat a wide range of cancers in animals. Treating and managing
cancer is truly a team effort and takes the dedication of surgeons,
oncologists and key staff members to bring it to what it is today."
    The Western Veterinary Cancer Centre brings to Calgary a technologically
advanced linear accelerator with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
capabilities, a new technology used to treat cancer in dogs and cats. One of
only a few machines in North America, WVSEC is the first to bring this
technology to Canada.
    "We are very excited to bring this mode of therapy to Western Canada so
that we can help those patients who otherwise may not have had access to this
advanced technology," said Dr. Neal Mauldin, radiation oncologist. "This new
treatment expands our existing medical and surgical oncology services provided
at the Centre to help veterinary cancer patients."
    The unique technology used at the Cancer Centre allows for radiation to
be targeted at tumour cells while sparing normal tissue within the treatment
field. Using these new radiation capabilities, the Centre will treat
veterinary patients with mast cell tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, and brain
tumors as well as cancers of the head and neck, thorax, abdomen and pelvis.
The new radiation therapy unit is housed in a custom vault constructed from
one million pounds of concrete.
    The Cancer Centre has been in development since 2006 and was established
to meet the growing needs of veterinary patients in Alberta, British Columbia,
Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The Cancer Centre team works
collaboratively to diagnose and treat patients using the most appropriate
cancer therapies, including surgery, chemotherapy, modulation of immune
responses, radioactive iodine therapy, nutrition and now radiation therapy.
The Cancer Centre's focus is to provide state-of-the-art care for veterinary
cancer patients while also providing support to their families.

    Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre (WVSEC), a member of
the BrightHeart network, treats over 8,000 companion animal patients annually
at its modern, 30,000 square foot facility located in downtown Calgary.
WVSEC's staff includes ten board-certified specialists and offers extensive
diagnostic and treatment options including surgery, oncology, ophthalmology,
internal medicine, canine rehabilitation and emergency services. WVSEC is a
member of the BrightHeart Veterinary network of specialty and emergency
veterinary hospitals.

    BrightHeart's network of advanced-care veterinary facilities works
closely with referring veterinarians and pet owners to provide the highest
standards and greatest range of options in pet care, giving pets the best
chance to lead longer, healthier lives. BrightHeart provides its doctors and
staff with outstanding career advancement opportunities, promotes greater
communication with referring veterinarians, and seeks to increase public
awareness of advancements available to pet owners for the medical diagnosis
and treatment of pets.

For further information:

For further information: Bryan Mills Iradesso, Carla Cichos,
Communications Strategist, Bryan Mills Iradesso, T (403) 503-0144 ext 213, E

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