State-of-the-Art Animal Cancer Centre Opens
September 20, 2012 - News Release
Canada’s most comprehensive animal cancer treatment and research centre opened today at the University of Guelph. The Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer offers the most advanced tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment and teaching.
Located at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), the centre will promote collaborative clinical research that will help all species, including humans.
Its name honours the late Mona Campbell, a longtime animal advocate who donated $9.5 million to OVC, half of which has supported the centre. It was U of G’s largest-ever gift and capped Campbell’s 20-year philanthropic relationship with the University.
“Naming this facility after Mona is a fitting tribute,” said OVC dean Elizabeth Stone, who developed a close friendship with Campbell.
“Her passion was animals, and she dedicated much of her life to improving their welfare," said Stone. "This centre will maximize the quality of life for animals living with cancer and provide world-class training for veterinarians and cancer specialists.”
The centre emphasizes an interdisciplinary team approach to treatment, ranging from medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, technicians, interns, graduate students and support staff to a clinical counsellor for clients making difficult decisions for their pets.
Clients have access to investigational therapies and clinical trials and state-of-the-art technology, including a new linear accelerator for radiation therapy that targets cancer cells while minimizing harm to healthy tissues.
The centre also provides chemotherapy and oncology wards; a tumour tissue bank for storing biopsies for future investigations; examination, treatment and procedure rooms; and a family visiting areas.
"The level of sophistication is similar to what you find in human medicine,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research).
“Scientists can perform clinical trials that parallel human research and use new cancer therapies, which will deepen our understanding of cancer. It means we can help fight and even prevent the disease in humans while improving care for our pets.”
Pets with cancer currently account for about one-third of visits to OVC’s companion-animal hospital. Like people, animals are living longer and healthier lives in general, but as pets age, they also become prone to cancer, Stone said.
“The centre will help raise awareness of cancer in animals and improve prospects for patients and clients. It will also be a magnet for top students and researchers who want to be a part of it.”
Besides Campbell’s gift, the centre is supported by donations from the OVC Pet Trust Fund, which launched a $15-million campaign to create a comprehensive animal cancer centre. Pet Trust improves the lives of companion animals by raising funds for learning, health care and research at OVC.
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