NYCs Animal Medical Center unveils new Cancer Institute


2,470-square-foot facility equips four veterinary oncologists.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Goldstein speaks during the Animal Medical Center Cancer Institute unveiling. Also pictured are Kathryn Coyne, AMC's CEO, and donors Kenneth and Elaine and Langone. (Photo courtesy of Animal Medical Center)The Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City has unveiled its new Cancer Institute after a $5 million gift from AMC trustee Elaine Langone and her husband Kenneth G. Langone.

The cancer center, which AMC directors say is modeled after progressive patient-centered human cancer hospitals, provides an integrative and centralized approach, utilizing innovative treatments to prevent, diagnose and care for animals diagnosed with cancer, according to an AMC release.

The National Cancer Institute states that nearly 12 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs and cats each year-that's in comparison with 1.6 million new cancer diagnoses in humans. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in nearly 50 percent of dogs, AMC says, particularly those over age 10, and the leading cause of disease-related death in cats.

“As healthcare for pets continues to improve, cancer can now be detected and treated more quickly, leading to better outcomes and allowing patients to live longer, happier lives,” says Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM, chief medical officer at AMC.

The 2,470-square-foot Cancer Institute's design provides AMC's 22-member oncology team-made up of four board-certified oncologists (including the only onsite, full-time radiation oncologist in New York state, according to the AMC release).

“The core mission of the institute is to provide the highest quality of life for animals with cancer, as well as to maximize the amount of time owners can spend with their beloved pets,” says Elaine Langone, the trustee who donated the needed funds. “Having lost quite a few dogs to cancer, Ken and I believed the new Cancer Institute at the AMC was an initiative worth supporting.”

At the Cancer Institute, veterinary oncologists conduct clinical research in an effort to identify new treatments. The new environment also allows them to expand their work with interns and residents while providing owners and pets in treatment therapies with privacy.

Additionally, the new Cancer Institute features technology and equipment often found in leading human hospitals, expanded exam and treatment rooms, a radiology suite, an onsite diagnostic laboratory  to provide critical patient information within minutes of sample collection, and digital radiographic imaging that will allow AMC's oncologists to obtain superior quality diagnostic radiographs with less radiation exposure.

“We are deeply grateful to Elaine and Kenneth Langone for their incredibly generous support,” says Kathryn Coyne, AMC's chief executive officer.

Integrated treatment provides pets with better outcomes, experts say

A unified approach to treatment can enhance outcomes and prolong lives, AMC directors say. The Cancer Institute at AMC provides several “unique” specialty services, including:

  • Interventional radiology and interventional endoscopy. Using tools traditionally used in human medicine, AMC's interventional specialty veterinarians employ intra-arterial chemotherapy to treat bladder cancers and cryotherapy to treat nasal tumors.

  • Radiation oncology. This approach employs pioneering radiation treatments for cancer available in veterinary medicine. The Cancer Institute at AMC is one of the few facilities in the tri-state area that offers both stereotactic radiotherapy (stereotactic body radiation therapy [SBRT], stereotactic radiation therapy [SRT] and stereotactic radiosurgery [SRS]) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to treat tumors in the brain, nasal cavity, oral cavity, periocular region, thyroid, cervical spine, lumbar spine, sacrum and abdomen. Additionally, AMC offers a board-certified radiation oncologist onsite-a presence it says is critically essential for offering high-quality radiation treatment while guarding against tissue damage and unsuccessful tumor control, resulting in the best care possible for patients.

  • Integrative medicine. This feature offers alternative therapies to work in concert with traditional cancer treatments. Among the modalities used are cold therapeutic laser, acupuncture and extracorporeal shockwave therapy.

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