A brand new, state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research facility for animals was opened in Kentford on Tuesday by The Princess Royal.
The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has been purpose-built to treat horses, dogs and cats with cancer. It will also assist in furthering understanding of the disease in animals.
It has taken just over a year to build the facility, which contains more than 2,600 tonnes of concrete and has eight-feet wide solid concrete walls.
It houses a linear accelerator and brachytherapy machine used in radiotherapy treatment, along with a 16-slice CT scanner to aid radiotherapy planning.
On opening the centre, The Princess Royal, President of the AHT, said: “This Cancer Centre is an exciting development at the AHT and will make a real difference for animals with cancer, here and now. It will improve the chances, for many animals, of beating this pernicious disease.
“Countless other horses, dogs and cats across the world with cancer, who will never be seen by an AHT clinician, will also benefit from knowledge gained from research in The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT.”
The new facility complements the AHT’s existing cancer treatment options of surgery and chemotherapy, meaning the Suffolk-based charity will be able to offer each and every patient the very best options for their specific case, whatever the diagnosis.
Peter Webbon, chief executive of the AHT, said: “2012 marks 70 years of the AHT fighting disease and injury in animals, and the addition of the Cancer Centre is a landmark achievement in our history.
“We believe this is the first facility of its kind in Europe, purpose-built to treat horses, dogs and cats with cancer. We now have a short commissioning process to undertake but anticipate welcoming the first patients through the doors in early 2013.”
He added: “It was thanks to a generous donation from the late Tom Scott, a long-term supporter of the AHT, that we were able to start this development. His donation, along with that from many other AHT supporters, and an interest-free loan of £1.5 million from the Kennel Club, has meant this ambitious project has come to fruition so quickly.”