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WGBH's program, Greater Boston, talked with Dr. Kristine Burgess about how treating cancer in our companion animals helps inform how we treat humans.

Work being done at Tufts is helping to advance the field of comparative oncology, which looks at how cancer behaves and is best treated in people and other species. Video: Steffan Hacker - See more at Tufts Now

Yellow lab in oncology
About

About Oncology

The mission of the Harrington Oncology Program is to provide the highest quality care for companion animals with cancer. This is accomplished by integrating state-of-the-art diagnostic, medical, radiation therapy and surgical techniques.

The oncology service is led by board-certified specialists in medical and radiation oncology and is supported by a team of residents, dedicated technicians and staff. We work closely with a highly skilled surgery service, with expertise in surgical oncology, as well as with specialists in internal medicine and a variety of other services. This close collaboration allows us to offer options for treatment that are tailored to the individual patient, according to the tumor type, the particular health of the patient and the family's expectations. This could be either a comprehensive treatment plan that includes a combination of different therapies or a more conservative strategy focusing on palliative care.

The radiation oncology service boasts a sophisticated linear accelerator (Siemens Primus linear accelerator with 6MV photon and 6-21 MeV electron capabilities. This unit has a 56-leaf collimator that allows for intensity modulated radiation therapy). This is only one of a few such units in operation in veterinary medical establishments. Strontium plesiotherapy is also available.

The Harrington Oncology Program is recognized nationally as a leader in the field. The members of the service are engaged in ongoing research into the causes, biology and treatment of cancer, including environmental risk factors for cancer and novel cancer therapies.

  • Technicians experienced in chemotherapy administration, radiation therapy delivery and anesthesia
  • Intravenous, intralesional and intracavitary chemotherapy administration
  • Long continuous-rate infusions of chemotherapy (cisplatin, ifosfamide, dacarbazine, cytarabine) and amino bisphosphonates (pamidronate, zoledronate)
  • Ultrasound guided and manual needle-core (True-cut) biopsies
  • Incisional and punch biopsies
  • Bone marrow aspirates and biopsies
  • Melanoma vaccine administration
  • External beam radiation therapy with a 6MV linear accelerator with multileaf collimator and variable electron energies (range 6-18 MeV)
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy capability
Advanced Techniques
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Radiation Therapy
Counseling and Support

Our Doctors in Oncology

  • Lisa G. Barber
    Lisa G. Barber
    Associate Professor, Oncology
  • Kristine E. Burgess
    Kristine E. Burgess
    Assistant Professor
  • Katherine Dittrich
    Katherine Dittrich
    Resident
  • Timothy S. Estabrooks
    Timothy S. Estabrooks
    Resident
  • Heather L. Gardner
    Heather L. Gardner
    Assistant Research Professor, Oncology Clinical Trials
  • Michele A.  Keyerleber
    Michele A. Keyerleber
    Associate Professor
  • Emily Krieger
    Emily Krieger
    Resident
  • Cheryl London
    Cheryl London
    Research Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, Anne Engen and Dusty Professorship in Comparative Oncology
  • Abbey Sadowski
    Abbey Sadowski
    Resident
  • Carrie A. Wood
    Carrie A. Wood
    Clinical Instructor

Do you have emergency?

The Emergency Service at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you and your pet. We serve central Massachusetts as a primary emergency hospital, and New England and beyond for referral of critically ill or injured pets.

Henry & Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals

Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University
55 Willard St.
N. Grafton, MA 01536
Fax: 508-839-7951
Pharmacy: 508-887-4850

508-839-5395

COVID-19 Guidance: Guidance and operational updates for Cummings School and its veterinary teaching hospitals. Read More