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Radiation Therapy for Pets (Dogs and Cats)

dog smiling

Yttrium-90 (Y-90) is an isotope of yttrium and has a wide range of approved uses in human medicine to treat various kinds of cancer. Brachytherapy refers to the precision placement of a sealed radiation source placed next to or inside a tissue requiring treatment (e.g. a tumor).

A benefit of brachytherapy is that the irradiation only affects a localized area. In people, brachytherapy is commonly used to treat tumors of the skin, prostate, breast, and liver. 

 

How to Schedule with VCTN

Pet owners

Please contact us (preferably via email at vctn@jhmi.edu or by phone 410-614-0105) to inquire about scheduling Y90 brachytherapy treatment. You should have your veterinarian(s) email us a copy of your pet’s medical record including any images (x-rays, CT, MRI), bloodwork and tissue biopsy results.

Veterinarians

Please email vctn@jhmi.edu a copy of the medical record, lab work and any radiographs.

Y-90 Brachytherapy FAQs

  • Y-90 brachytherapy provides a controlled delivery of Y-90 beta radiation to tumors.  The maximum range of the Y-90 beta particles in tissue is 11mm and the mean range is 4.7mm.  Cutaneous sarcomas (skin tumors) are the most common indication for Y-90 brachytherapy in pets.

  • Y-90 is injected into a tumor using a syringe and needle.  The number of injections within a tumor is dependent on the size of the tumor.  Delivery of the agent offers highly localized radiation for control of cancerous tissue and/or solid tumors. Y-90 brachytherapy consists of a single minimally-invasive procedure and the pet can go home the same day.

  • Family members should not touch the treated cancer lesion for the first several days.  Routine activity between family members and the pet can occur soon after therapy.

  • An E-collar or secure bandage may be necessary to prevent the pet from licking the treated tissue.  The treated tissue may peel off over time.

  • Any dog or cat is eligible for Y-90 brachytherapy treatment. Y-90 treatment is contraindicated in patients with metastatic disease as it only affects the treated tissue. Y-90 brachytherapy is not recommended for highly vascularized tissue including lung and pancreatic tissue.

Contact Us

Email: vctn@jhmi.edu

Phone 410-614-0105

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