ROANOKE, Va – Since opening in August, the Virginia Tech Animal Cancer Care and Research Center has treated patients from across the United States.
“We’ve had a client come from New Jersey recently and we’ve had inquiries from people as far as California,” said Interim Director and Assistant Professor Dr. Joanne Tuohy.
On Thursday, lead researchers discussed several major goals of the center, including a focus on comparative oncology.
“Comparative oncology research aims to benefit both veterinary patients as well as human patients so we can advance the concept of one health,” Tuohy said.
Some of the center’s first patients include 11-year-old Lucy the boxer from Christiansburg, who had a large tumor appear just before the pandemic started.
“Our other option was going to have to be to travel to North Carolina or somewhere further away and that’s really hard when a dog has had major surgery,” Lucy’s Owner Jessica Lawson said.
Lawson says the surgery and treatment Lucy has been able to get at the center saved her life.
She hopes it can be a resource for others when they get the same life-changing news about their four-legged loved ones.
“They walked us through every option we talked to the radiologist, we talked to the oncologist. It’s just been unbelievable how they have helped us through the process,” Lawson said.
The center is the newest wing at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.