Our pets' love is unconditional – what we may not see is that they can also provide us with the answers to cure cancer. Helping them, helps us.

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Our cancer-fighting mission is ongoing and very important. We need your help to continue to fund this work.

▪ Completion and publication of a prospective study into a novel radiation treatment protocol for feline oral squamous cell carcinoma.
▪ Collaborative research with The University of Queensland and The Diamantina Institute into haemangiosarcoma (HSA) in dogs. This work has provided some valuable information about HSA proteomics.
▪ Collaborative research with the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) at the University of Queensland.
▪ Funding through the Australian Cancer Research Foundation to establish a Comparative Oncology Program and provide a PET-CT scanner for animal cancer research at the CAI.
▪ Establishment of a national clinical trials consortium, The Australian Consortium of Comparative Oncology (ACCO).
▪ A muti-institutional trial with the ACCO where an antimetastatic drug has been shown to increase the survival probability of dogs with high-grade osteosarcoma (primary bone cancer).
▪ A multi-institutional trial with the ACCO to investigate using half body irradiation to augment survival in dogs with lymphosarcoma, a model for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma of people.
▪ A prospective and collaborative study of intra-operative cisplatin for the treatment of canine extremity soft tissue sarcomas.
▪ Multiple collaborative retrospective studies with The Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology including: Vet Surg. 2009 Dec;38(8): Biologic behavior and clinical outcome of 25 dogs with canine appendicular chondrosarcoma treated by amputation: a Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology retrospective study. Farese JP, Kirpensteijn J, Kik M, Bacon NJ, Waltman SS, Seguin B, Kent M, Liptak J, Straw R, Chang MN, Jiang Y, Withrow SJ.
▪ Collaborative studies with the Veterinary Cancer Society and the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group including: J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2009 Jan-Feb;45(1):33-8. Use of single-agent carboplatin as adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy in conjunction with amputation for appendicular osteosarcoma in dogs. Phillips B, Powers BE, Dernell WS, Straw RC, Khanna C, Hogge GS, Vail DM.
▪ The development of pathology guidelines for surgical oncology with involvement in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists' Oncology Committee and this publication: Vet Pathol. 2011 Jan;48(1):19-31. Recommended guidelines for submission, trimming, margin evaluation, and reporting of tumor biopsy specimens in veterinary surgical pathology. Kamstock DA, Ehrhart EJ, Getzy DM, Bacon NJ, Rassnick KM, Moroff SD, Liu SM, Straw RC, et al; American College of Veterinary Pathologists' Oncology Committee.
▪ The Foundation contributed to the experience in using Toceranib Phosphate (Palladia) during its pre-release by Pfizer Australia and then contributed to the education program of the community and veterinarians in its use to treat dogs with high grade mast cell tumours and other malignancies
▪ Clinical outcome of 42 dogs with scapular tumours treated by scapulectomy: Veterinary Society of Sugical Oncology (VSSO) retrospecitve study (1995-2010). This is a collaborative research paper with the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology.
▪ Incidence of sterile haemorrhagic cystitis in dogs receiving cyclophosphamide orally for three days without concurrent furosemide as part of a chemotherapeutic treatment for lymphoma: 57 cases (2007-2012). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013 Oct 1;243(7):1025-9.
▪ Efficacy and toxicity of an accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy protocol in cats with oral squamous cell carcinoma. Poirier VJ, Kaser-Hotz B, Vail DM, Straw RC. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2013 Jan-Feb;54(1):81-8
▪ Marvin B.J. Kung, Valérie J. Poirier, Michelle M Dennis, David M. Vail and Rodney C. Straw. Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for the treatment of Microscopic Canine Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Vet and Comp Oncol. 2014 Nov 13.
▪ Alok K. Shah, Eunju Choi, Kim-Anh LêCao, David Chen, Benoit Gautier, Caroline O’Leary, Nicholas A. Saunders, Derek Nancarrow, David Whiteman, Helle Bielefeldt-ohmann, Andrew P. Barbour, Rodney Straw, Michelle M. Hill. High Throughput Glycoproteonomics Pipeline for Discovery and Verification of Differentially Glycosylated Serum Proteins as Biomarkers. Preprint.
▪ Comparison of clinical and oncologic outcomes between two generations of metal endoprosthesis. A Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology retrospective study in 45 dogs. Katherine E Mitchell, Marvin Kung, Sarah Dry, Sarah E Boston, Rod C Straw, Nicole P Ehrhart, Stewart D Ryan. Veterinary Surgery 45 (2016) 36–43
▪ A study of total prostatectomy to treat prostatic carcinoma in dogs has been completed and published and this was supported by The Foundation. Also, tissue from the dogs treated has been studied by researchers at the University of Queensland and forms part of a PhD program. Two immortal cancer cell lines of canine prostatic carcinoma have been established in tissue culture. This is very rare and is a very valuable cancer research tool.


Approximately half of human cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and many companion animals now have access to this treatment option. There are approximately 100 facilities in the Northern Hemisphere that are actively treating animals with radiation therapy.

3DPlanner Resized01The radiation facility provided by the Foundation at Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre is the first dedicated Linear Accelerator for animals in the southern hemisphere. Radiation therapy is of benefit as a primary and adjunctive therapy and produces significantly prolonged remissions in comparison to the use of one treatment modality alone. Prior to the availability of radiation treatment, surgery was the only option for many companion animals with solid malignancies.  Our radiation team includes a veterinary radiation oncologist, a team of radiation therapists trained in treating human patients with cancer, a radiation physicist who also acts as our radiation safety officer and a team of radiation engineers.  Our team of engineers and a radiation physicist ensure tolerances in dose delivery are equal to, or better than, machines in clinical use for humans.  We use sophisticated computer software to allow our CT scanner data to be used to simulate and provide three-dimensional radiation planning as is done for humans with cancer undergoing radiation therapy.  Our doses are accurately calculated and delivered to strict target volumes sparing normal susceptible tissues.

Dogs and cats are sometimes treated with chemotherapy and often use the same drugs used to treat people with cancer. Forms of chemotherapy delivery vary and may include injection into muscles or under the skin and sometimes into body cavities or the tumours themselves, orally taken pills or capsules, or given intravenously sometimes even directed into the arteries supplying the tumour by a technique known as interventional radiography. We also use targeted drug therapy aimed at the molecular level. Drugs such as toceranib have specific molecular targets and this minimises side effects while controlling cancer in selected individuals.

Surgery Resized01Surgery is used in animal cancer management to control or eliminate the local cancer and to improve the patient's quality of life. Surgical removal of localised cancer in companion animals cures more cancer patients than any other form of treatment.  Special surgical techniques and guidelines have been developed and The Foundation supports research into innovative and promising surgery research such as 3D printed devices and endo-prostheses, light directed surgery, sentinel node detection and other new protocols on the horizon.  Our surgeons are members of the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology. 


CT Resized01The Australian Animal Cancer Foundation funds valuable equipment and research essential to the treatment and study of cancer in companion animals.

The publication of this valuable research is made available to researchers all over the world, fast tracking their work and collectively taking us closer to a cure. 

Equipment funded by the Foundation to date includes:

  • Purchase and installation of the Southern Hemisphere's only high energy radiation therapy unit dedicated to animals - Siemens 6 MV Linear Accelerator
  • Purchase and installation of a General Electric multislice, helical CT scanner for provision of digital data for three dimensional treatment planning and radiation simulation. This device is also used for diagnosis and staging of cancers in animals presented to BVSC – The Animal Hospital, providing data for continuing clinical research.
  • Purchase of a minus eighty degrees Celsius ultralow freezer for archiving tissue, establishment of a tissue bank, storage of tissue and fluids for research and provision of a facility for an allograft bone bank.
  • Purchase of an ultra centrifuge for preparing body fluids for tests and storage.

Helping the AACF

Australian Animal Cancer Foundation is a not for profit research charity dedicated to fighting cancer and finding a cure for cancer. Our pets may hold the answers allowing cancer cures in people and our beloved pets. The goal is to find these answers.