Today I was given a wonderful opportunity to use my talents in performing radiation implants in a different kind of patient… a horse. This does not happen very often, and as I was informed today, this was the first ever radiation implant of its kind (for a horse) performed in the state of Kentucky, and even more incredible, this was the first Cesium-131 interstitial implant ever performed in a horse! I am unable to say if this will be successful or not at this time, but simply being asked for my expertise, and then being able to visit such a wonderful equine facility was not only a tremendous honor, but one amazing experience.
A few specifics, this is an 8 year old horse referred to as an American Saddlebred Gelding. It was formerly a show horse, but has a very loving family who wishes to keep it around longer. The horse has a type of cancer called a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor involving its upper eyelid and orbit; it is also sometimes referred to as a neurofibrosarcoma. The horse has previously underwent 4 surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy injections, but the cancer continues to grow. It is our hope that my radiation implant will be the last cancer therapy it needs! I will see the horse again in a few weeks, and will update then. In the meantime, I was given permission by the horse owner and the hospital staff to share these photos:
Specifically, for those interested, I implanted 26 radioactive seeds throughout the tumor in an effort to deliver a high radiation dose to a targeted area. This is a radiation treatment that is permanent, and the radiation seeds slowly give off radiation over the next 2 weeks. Hopefully, this tumor should be gone in about 6-8 weeks.
If you want to learn more about Cesium-131 or how this procedure works, check out the Isoray Medical homepage (and check on the Gynecologic cancers link… you’ll find more about our work at UK!) http://www.isoray.com
And then, shortly following this procedure, I received quite a bit of recognition for performing this implant: