1. A New Understanding of the Cause of Cancer

    You probably learned in school that cancer is caused by the mutation of cells that grow out of control causing tumors.

    This view was first suggested in 1928 and has held pretty fast in the minds of the medical and scientific communities for some 85 years, despite the fact that this mutation theory has been proven true for less than 10 percent of cancers.

    With some cancers, even fewer mutations are associated with their development. For example, only about 1 percent of gastric cancers are caused by mutations, and only 3–5 percent of colon cancers. For breast cancer patients with the BRCA gene, only about 8 percent are caused by mutations of this gene. read more

  2. Measles Vaccine May Wipe Out Cancer

    Future cancer patients may have one very brave woman to thank: A 49-year-old Mayo Clinic patient who suffered from multiple myeloma for about a decade is now cancer-free thanks to a cutting-edge treatment. In an experimental procedure, she received an extremely high dose of the measles vaccine, enough to inoculate 10 million people (!!!). The vaccine was delivered in a single injection through an IV over the course of an hour. Within a week, her tumors started shrinking and within three months she was completely free of the disease. She’s been in remission for about six months. read more

  3. Strontium 90 – An old modality brings new treatment options to the VCC

    Recently the Veterinary Cancer Center added to their armamentarium in the fight against  cancer with a Strontium-90 superficial probe. A Strontium -90 probe is a radioactive probe that can be placed against a tumor to deliver high doses of radiation.  The benefit of this probe is that it emits very low energy radiation, so the radiation only penetrates 2-4 mm into the patient (about the thickness of two quarters).  This means that for small, superficial tumors we can deliver a very large dose to the tumor and surrounding skin, with little to no risk of long term side effects.  Most patients develop a scab in the area after treatment, which resolves over 4-6 weeks, then the area will remain hairless.  Significant long-term side effects are very rare.

    Strontium – 90 probes have been used to treat small superficial tumors, including mast cell tumors in cats, solar induced squamous cell carcinomas in cats, small mast cell tumors in some dogs like pugs.  It may be beneficial in palliative treatment of squamous cell carcinoma under the tongue in cats.  It is great for treating pets with multiple tumors, because each treatment is usually less than ten minutes, and requires only a short anesthesia.  For pets with multiple tumors it allows us to treat all of their tumors in one, shorter anesthesia.  Also, it can be very helpful for treating eyelid tumors or corneal tumors, which are often very difficult to remove with surgery.

    If your pet has a small tumor and you think they may be a candidate for strontium therapy contact your local veterinarian to see if the tumor might be treated with this option.

    Image 1 – Close up of the strontium probe.  The radioactive Strontium is in the small metal cylinder at the tip and this is what is placed against the patient’s tumor. Image 2 typical appearance of the local site after strontium – 90 treatment.  Hair loss and depigmentation are usually the only side effects that occur long term