Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Colorado State University Unveils Varian Trilogy Linear Accelerator

WHAT:     Colorado State University will unveil a cutting-edge instrument allowing it the ability to deliver radiation to tumors in animals. The machine is the first of its kind in any animal clinic or veterinary teaching college in the world, and is only available to humans in a handful of locations in the United States. The commissioning of the Varian Trilogy Linear Accelerator will be followed by an open house.

WHEN/WHERE:      A ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 in the Edward L. Gillette Therapy Suite (room 121A) at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the university’s Veterinary Medical Center, 300 West Drake Road. The ribbon cutting will be followed by an open house from 1:30 – 4 p.m., including demonstrations of how the equipment works.

DETAILS:     Colorado State University’s veterinary radiation oncology unit will unveil a Varian Trilogy Linear Accelerator which enables the university to deliver tailored, precision radiation to tumors with a sophistication that is unmatched by any other machine available.

     The linear accelerator has the ability to target tumors with a radiation that is tailored specifically to the depth, shape and size of a tumor without damaging healthy cells. Specifically, a radiation dose can be fitted to the abnormal shape of a tumor and to be delivered at a specific depth to prevent hitting important surrounding structures such as spinal cord, kidney or heart.  In addition, the machine has an on-board CT scanner and digital x-ray machine, allowing doctors to monitor the changing shape and depth of a tumor with each treatment. Finally, the accelerator also can be programmed to deliver radiation at only specific stages of the breathing cycle to ensure precision delivery if the tumor moves slightly as the patient breathes (such as a tumor in the chest cavity).

This machine is important for the advancement of veterinary radiation oncology.  It is also a powerful tool for translational cancer research. Principles demonstrated from evaluating treatment of naturally occurring tumors in pet animals with this technology can be applied to human cancer patients.  

Parking and entrance is located at the northwest corner of the building. For more information, call 970-297-4253.

Reporters who would like to attend should contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or by 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.