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The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital


The CEH medicine service has a great interest in all aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of equine oncology cases, offering Britain’s only radiotherapy unit capable of treating horses. Led by Dr Anna Hollis, the only equine vet in the world with a MSc in Clinical Oncology, we work closely with the specialists at the Cancer Therapy Unit (CTU) on site. The CTU is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in small animals and is under the leadership of Dr. Jane Dobson, a European and RCVS board-certified Specialist in Veterinary Oncology and Radiation Oncology. We offer a complete and truly multidisciplinary approach to the cancer patient from diagnosis to all aspects of treatment on one site.

We are fortunate in that the CTU houses the only linear accelerator in the UK capable of performing radiotherapy in large animals. External beam radiotherapy has been performed here in cases of osteosarcoma, cutaneous lymphoma, meningioma, sarcoids, squamous cell carcinoma and juvenile mandibular ossifying fibroma. We are also the only site in the UK to have strontium plesiotherapy, a form of local radiotherapy that is especially useful for certain types of ocular and periocular lesion (tumours of the eye and of the structures around the eye). 

Chemotherapy comprises the use of cytotoxic agents for the treatment of tumours. Most commonly, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil are used to treat cutaneous tumours. As these agents are potentially dangerous to use, we follow strict guidelines to ensure optimal safety in the preparation, handling and administration of these drugs. We also use novel agents and are constantly researching new treatments for difficult tumours. 

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is the use of light of a specific wavelength as a photodynamic agent, which is delivered directly to the tumour site, causing damage to the tumour cells. This type of treatment is only useful in a limited number of lesions. PDT has been used for the treatment of periocular SCC in horses, in conjunction with surgical excision. We have also had very favourable results with PDT to treat squamous cell carcinoma associated with chronic non-healing wounds.

For equine oncology enquiries, please contact Dr Anna Hollis at 

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