UC Davis invites veterinary professionals to learn about new linear accelerator, earn CE credits

The oncology department at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital now hosts the most advanced linear accelerator used in veterinary medicine, and they are inviting the veterinary community to learn more about it.

On Nov. 3, the school will host a dedication ceremony and continuing education course centered around veterinary medicine's first TrueBeam linear accelerator. 

Veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians who attend the dedication event will have the opportunity to attend lectures on stereotactic radiosurgery and advances in radiotherapy, which will earn them two continuing education credits through the university.

The TrueBeam linear accelerator provides a vast upgrade in the school’s cancer treatment capabilities, said Michael Kent, MAS, DVM, DACVIM, DACVR, associate professor in radiation oncology at UC Davis, and associate director of the Center for Companion Animal Health. According to Kent, "This is the most advanced linear accelerator available anywhere."

Kent said the new linear accelerator, as well as the hospital's upgraded MRI, have given the oncology department significant improvements in imaging and diagnosing tumors.

"We also upgraded our MRI as part of this, so we're able to get better imaging as well. And this is particularly important for deep-seated tumors and things like brain tumors, so we're able to precisely locate the tumor so we can treat them better and diagnose better as well," Kent said.

He said the TrueBeam linear accelerator is an all-digital machine, meaning everything is integrated. He listed some of the high-tech features that make the TrueBeam linear accelerator a key addition to their oncology department:

  • High-definition multileaf collimator, which allows doctors to finely collimate the beam to any tumor shape.
  • Smallest laser available, which is 2.5 millimeters compared to the typical 5 or 10 millimeter leaves.
  • Respiratory gating, which tracks tumor motion during respiration - even under anesthesia - and allows the reduction of irradiated volumes when compared with large ITV-based approaches.

Kent further explained why he believes his teaching hospital and the veterinary medical community as a whole will benefit from the new TrueBeam linear accelerator.

"It means that we'll continue to be able to help advance cancer care in our patients and then also spread that knowledge for use in veterinary medicine throughout the world," Kent said.

How to register for the event

Interested veterinarians or registered veterinary technicians can sign up for the free event and continuing education opportunity on the UC Davis website by Oct. 30.

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