Tumor Treatment at the EMC
Most equine tumors involve the skin, and common skin tumors include equine sarcoids, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas. Surgeons at the Equine Medical Center use a multi-modal approach to treating skin tumors in order to optimize the chances of successful treatment and dramatically reduce reoccurrence rates.
Treatment often consists of a combination of laser-assisted surgical excision and ablation along with intralesional and topical chemotherapeutic agents. The local delivery of chemotherapy drugs avoids the many side effects commonly associated with their systemic use.
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- Dr. Ken Sullins, a world-renowned surgeon, has pioneered research in the field of tumor treatment and laser surgical techniques.
- Dr. Sullins, in conjunction with Royer Animal Health, developed a slow-release chemotherapeutic biodegradable implant for the treatment of common skin tumors.
The advantage of laser surgery for treating tumors
- Much more versatile than a scalpel, surgical lasers deliver light or heat to incise, coagulate, or vaporize tissue.
- Laser surgical sites bleed and swell less than conventional surgical wounds. The carbon dioxide laser creates a clean, bloodless incision and can also vaporize tissue masses.
- The carbon dioxide laser is controlled enough that corneal tumors can be vaporized from the surface of the eye.
- Surgical procedures performed with lasers can often be performed on standing horses on an outpatient basis. The horses leave with no external wound.
- Use of cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads for treatment of cutaneous neoplasia in equidae: 59 cases (2000–2004) co-authored by Dr. Ken Sullins (PDF)
- Excision as treatment of dermal melanomatosis in horses: 11 cases (1994–2000) co-authored by Dr. Ken Sullins (PDF)
- Treatment of appendicular osteosarcoma in a horse co-authored by Dr. Ken Sullins (PDF)
- Elective Surgery for Horses by Dr. Nat White (PDF)