Recognised by the American College of Veterinary Radiology, Dr Elias Gumpel will join the radiation oncology team at Sydney’s Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH)’s Animal Cancer Centre, bringing with him his years of local and international experience and expertise.
“I am excited to be part of the team at SASH and utilise the state-of-the-art radiotherapy equipment and treatment planning software in the oncology department, which are at the forefront of the industry.”
Elias will join a 50-strong team of veterinary specialists at SASH, which is known across the country and around the world for its innovative treatments and services.
The team at SASH’s Animal Cancer Centre help pet owners and referring veterinarians to understand the best course of the action when a diagnosis has been given, with some of their patients even being referred from interstate to receive specialised treatment.
Elias says the Centre provides hope to families, gives new options for treatments and provides a better quality of life for pets.
“When people get cancer, their GPs always refer them to a specialist oncologist, and that can also be the case for our pets. Many pet owners and even general practitioner vets don’t realise how far we’ve come in the treatments that are available to pets if they get a cancer diagnosis.”
With a similar diagnosis rate to humans, roughly one in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer.
SASH’s Animal Cancer Centre is unique, in that it is able to provide three types of cancer treatment, including medical, surgical and radiation, each able to be used independently or in combination. Over the past year, SASH has treated over 80 pets in the Radiation Oncology unit, which has the tools and technology to allow specialists to target and treat specific areas of the body.
“For example – when treating a brain tumour, we often can’t use medical or surgical treatments, so we program the radiation to highly accurately target a very specific area which will spare the surrounding tissue,” says Elias. “With this technology, we’re able to reduce the size of many tumours and their symptoms, which will provide our patients with a good quality of life and increase their lifespan.”
Much like a human hospital, every morning, the Oncology team does rounds of the unit to discuss the best course of action for each patient, with a suitable treatment plan developed by the specialist team.Pet owners are guided through the process to assess the goal of the treatment, which can include cure as well as palliation – helping pets to be as comfortable and happy for as long as possible.
“The field of radiation oncology in animals has been developing since the 1960s and 1970s with a real uptake being seen in the 1990s, so this technology has been utilised and progressing for a while now for animals,” says Elias. “The equipment we use here at SASH is some of the best in the world and matches that available to human hospitals, offering new possibilities for treatment outcomes for our patients.”
The site has recently opened a its new Emergency and Critical Care unit which works in tandem with the Animal Cancer Centre and provides 24/7 human level care to beloved pets. SASH Emergency and Critical Care is open every day of the year for walk-ins, when urgent veterinary care is needed, or when the local veterinary practice is closed.