From heartbreak to hope: the PetCure Oncology story
For founder and CEO, Scott Milligan, it was the all-too-familiar story of grief and frustration that inspired him to create PetCure Oncology. After his family’s beloved Golden Retriever, Juliette, died from what he believed was treatable cancer, Scott was determined to change cancer care for pets forever.
The PetCure difference
It started with a simple question: Why can’t pets with cancer benefit from the same advanced, non-surgical stereotactic radiation (SRS/SRT) treatment that’s available to humans fighting cancer? Now we’re on a mission to provide pets and their families with broad access to this technology and connect them with the very best, highly compassionate veterinary specialists to deliver treatment.
Because we all know our furry friends are much more than just pets—they’re part of our families.
Unrivaled Treatment and Delivery
PetCure Oncology centers feature the best available technology operated by the most highly trained professionals available. Most centers deliver radiation therapy with a linear accelerator equipped with RapidArc® technology, enabling sub-millimeter precision, enhanced quality control and a continuous, efficient treatment. Treatment is overseen by our network of board-certified radiation oncologists and consulting specialists from a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. They work in collaboration with a compassionate team of human-licensed radiation therapists that are trained and experienced in the delivery of radiation therapy and the operation of advanced linear accelerators. Each location also employs a staff of licensed veterinary technicians.
Industry Leading Clinical Research
With the country’s largest network of centers offering SRS for pets, PetCure Oncology is in the unique position to collect data and aggregate outcomes as this advanced technology is integrated into veterinary medicine. That commitment to research is driven by our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB consists of experts in human and veterinary radiation oncology as well as medical physics and biology. Its charge is to analyze the data in order to establish standards and protocols for delivering SRS to pets. PetCure Oncology and the SAB are dedicated to continually improving the standard of care and refining these protocols to optimize outcomes – and save more pets.
Many of the protocols designed to enhance patient safety and standardize medical care for humans are noticeably absent in veterinary medicine. At PetCure Oncology, every radiation therapy treatment plan is overseen and reviewed by two board-certified radiation oncologists. Each is verified by advanced treatment planning software and tested through a phantom validation plan. Prior to every treatment session, a physical inspection of the equipment and its settings is conducted. And each treatment is delivered by a board-certified radiation oncologist or human-licensed radiation therapist that is trained and experienced in the delivery of advanced radiation therapy with a linear accelerator and on-board imaging. We pride ourselves in utilizing some of the most scientifically advanced technology, combining the best available equipment with software like EclipseTM and Radialogica that enable our clinical teams to deliver treatment with precision, safety and efficacy while capturing information and continually optimizing delivery protocols.
We don’t believe in competitive barriers. We believe in offering pets the best cancer care possible. We accept referrals from primary care veterinarians and specialists alike, offering whatever level of support is most appropriate for each individual case. We encourage collaboration and consult with specialists across the industry, whether that means providing our expertise in radiation oncology or seeking out the ideas, experiences and viewpoints of others. Our goal is to help pets, pet owners and veterinarians in any way that we can.
At the turn of the century, radiation therapy was extremely rare in veterinary medicine. When PetCure Oncology opened its first center fifteen years later, SRS for pets was still relatively limited in the veterinary community. As we began to offer new and innovative treatments, we realized that clinical education and public awareness for SRS were close to nonexistent. How could a veterinarian provide a pet owner with their full range of cancer care options if they simply didn’t know that SRS was available to pets? In every market, PetCure Oncology has a local program director that proactively reaches out to veterinarians and veterinary clinics, arranges “lunch and learns” for their staffs, organizes continuing education opportunities, and engages community groups. Their goal is to raise awareness for SRS and educate both professionals and pet owners about its benefits – including the potential to cure.
A cancer diagnosis is devastating. Nobody wants to hear the “C-word.” Unfortunately, many of us know this from experience. Our staff is compassionate, empathetic and trained to make the process as stress-free as possible for both the pet and pet owner. The cancer journey can be even more problematic for those traveling from out of town for treatment at a PetCure Oncology center. We will do our best to make your trip as seamless as possible, providing efficient and effective treatment and minimizing your time on the road. Most can return home the same week. We also offer concierge-level service that can include helping you find pet-friendly airlines, hotel accommodations, restaurants and more.
PetCure Oncology is about more than just treating cancer. We are about continually raising the standard of care to make sure that pets and their families always have access to the best medical options. Our goal is to revolutionize cancer care for pets. That is why we have quickly become a leader in the industry. PetCure Oncology was the:
- First to partner with leading specialists across the country to develop a national network of comprehensive cancer care centers that specialize in the delivery of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- First to bring specialists together collaboratively across competitive barriers, educating and engaging them in clinical care pathways and treatment delivery to offer every patient the best treatment possible
- First to aggregate data and conduct outcomes research to establish standards and protocols for veterinary radiation therapy
- First to have a Scientific Advisory Board made up of renowned experts in human and veterinary radiation oncology to drive clinical protocols, standards and research
- First to provide concierge-level service with extraordinary compassion, responsiveness and personalized communication