Radiation or SRT

Discussion in 'Acromegaly / IAA / Cushings Cats' started by Shirl and Jasper, May 15, 2011.

  1. Shirl and Jasper

    Shirl and Jasper New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    This is my first post.

    My Jasper was recently diagnosed with Acromegaly (his IGF-1 was 285), and I've been doing a lot of research. I am so grateful for this board, and all the information that I've found.

    For those of you whose cat had radiation therapy and/or stereotactic radiosurgery, would you share your thoughts about it? I'm really wondering if you would do it again, and if the treatments were very upsetting for your cat?

    This is a tough decision for me. Jasper does not like new people or places, and has gotten very cranky about going to the vet. SRT sounds like the best option, but it means a trip out of state for him. And radiation therapy means multiple trips to a clinic for treatment.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Phoebe_TiggyGA_NortonGA

    Phoebe_TiggyGA_NortonGA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Shirl and Jasper - welcome to FDMB

    Not sure if anyone has seen your post here so I'll post a link on Facebook.

    I believe the cats/people that have gone to Colorado for SRT have been delighted with the experience and the result.

    Norton was too far advanced when we discovered his acro - and it was right when the CSU SRT program was starting out.
     
  3. Dragonnns

    Dragonnns Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Hello Shirl,

    Cindy went through SRT at Colorado State in February. Since then she's dropped from a high of 14 units down to about 5. The issue we're having is that she needs less insulin and it isn't necessarily a gradual decline. It is like she suddenly needs 2 fewer units than she did the day before. She'll be surfing along in yellows and suddenly she is under 100 and it is hard to get her back up. If you go the SRT route, you definitely want to be diligent about testing.

    Cindy is a pretty easy going cat. The toughest part for her was getting out of her carrier and being held through all the noise and commotion at the airport security screening. So if you fly and Jasper isn't good with loud noises etc. you'll want to not only have him in a carrier but I'd recommend he have a harness as well...at least through screening.

    You can read about our experience here: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id ... Iinmybkl60

    And here are some pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonnns/ ... 5867225041

    For us, I think it was worth it as we're seeing some positive changes in Cindy.
     
  4. Patti and Merlin

    Patti and Merlin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Shirl and Jasper

    My kitty Merlin was as Phoebe's Norton - unable to have the SRT - however I've written up a document with some of the experiences of the people who have gone for the treatment. Also we had written up a questionaire for Dr Lunn when SRT was first available. The answers to these questions are in this document also - along with some pics. there is also some info on the tumor surgery that some vets are doing and some info on the drug study that Dr Lunn is doing. Here is a link to the google document:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x_V ... y=C&pli=1#

    I hope this helps a little
     
  5. Shirl and Jasper

    Shirl and Jasper New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Thank you all so very much!

    Pheobe, Thanks for posting this to Facebook for me, I honestly haven't figured out how to do that yet.

    Debbie, I love the pictures and the detailed report!

    And Patti, Thank you for documenting the options, I had skimmed your doc before and wanted to go back and read it end to end.

    I really appreciate your help
     
  6. Nina and KB

    Nina and KB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Heather and Boo, and Wendy and Milo have had successful SRT - Boo and Milo have both gone OTJ. It doesn't always happen quickly, but it can happen.

    Susan's Lanky has also gone through it. Lanky's journey is documented in detail, down to the litter box in the trunk.

    Joan's Madison had also gone through this, and her experience is also well documented on this site.

    (These are the ones that come to mind quickly, there are others and I apologize for not mentioning them all.)
     
  7. Punkyp

    Punkyp Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    I just got it done at CSU so it's too early to tell if it is successful for my cat although the CSU team seemed very optimistic. Some places like UC Davis only do 1 big fraction but CSU does 3 smaller fractions & I felt that it was much more wise to go w/ CSU since they have such great documentation regarding acro cats & and an excellent success rate. If you are not already on the Facebook page I suggest you also join there- there was a side by side comparison of UCD vs CSU treatment protocol.
     
  8. OptOut

    OptOut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I would definitely recommend the SRT at CSU. Normal radiation is very difficult on the kitty, needs a series of something like 12 in a month, and costs the same (or more) than SRT. With SRT, you get the whole thing taken care of in one week and there are generally no side effects. The treatment is much more precise and kitty only goes under about 4 times (vs 12 or more).
     
  9. julie & punkin (ga)

    julie & punkin (ga) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    we're here doing the SRT right now - today was punkin's first radiation dose. Of course it's too early to know how punkin will do with all of it, but the people at CSU are wonderful - they are confident and i think, rightly so.
     
  10. Punkyp

    Punkyp Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    OH that's good. Did they map it with a CT/ MRI or both? My cats tumor was too small to see but we went through with it anyways. They really are top notch at CSU! You must go to Dempsey's for breakfast after dropping off your kitty one day!
     
  11. julie & punkin (ga)

    julie & punkin (ga) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    oh - i just saw your post! sorry we'll miss dempsey's because we're headed home in a couple of hours.

    they said punkin's tumor was huge, one of the biggest they'd seen, so i don't think there were any problems hitting it! :lol: he has done totally fine. the first day he had an MRI and CT scan and he was pretty unsteady when we got him home. he was under the anesthetic longer that first day than the other days.

    i was really concerned about nausea because he's vomited every time in the past that he's gone under, but he has seemed more than fine every day. they did say they have a board-certified anesthesiologist at the hospital and they make an "anesthesia plan" for each cat the first day. I had emailed them the week before with the name of the last gas that had made him vomit - don't know if that factored in, but he really was totally fine. i fed him tiny bits the first day but don't think i needed to. the second day i found out they were feeding him as soon as he woke up and he didn't have any problems.

    we'll find out more when we meet with dr timian in a couple of hours for the report on everything, but no problems so far. i had noticed that sometimes his pupils have been fixed open & huge, but they sometimes contract like normal. they said the tumor was so big that it was likely pressing on the optic tracks. this morning his eyes were responsive. i don't know how quickly the tumor begins to shrink, but with any luck it's fast.

    dr lunn was on vacation for this week and next, and rather than wait for her we opted to go with Dr. Timian. She seems great - i have total confidence in her. the whole place is run very professionally.

    the total cost will be somewhere around $4,000 - we figured that it was costing so much with supplies and insulin, even at his current dose of 15.5units, that the cost would've equaled supplies in just about a year. so an investment now versus paying out every month. of course there are no guarantees he'll go off of insulin, but we hope so. even if he stays on the dose is sure to drop to something more reasonable and less expensive. the other damage done to the body by acro is also avoided.

    anyway, i'm writing more than i needed to to answer your question for whoever else might be wondering about SRT or acro treatments.
     

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