Although Radiation Therapy is not commonly used for Canine Lymphoma care, some vets like to use it in conjunction with other conventional treatment protocols.
The limitation on using Radiation Therapy as the primary method for Canine Lymphoma care is because of the systemic nature of Canine Lymphoma, which attacks cells that are spread out throughout the entire body. Radiation Therapy, on the other hand, targets a specific localized region, and is therefore generally used for other, more localized, type of cancer.
The type of radiation that has been tested and used for Canine Lymphoma cases is “Half Body Radiation” under which the patient receives radiation to 1/2 of their body (mid-body to nose) in one treatment and the other 1/2 of their body (mid-body to tail) a few weeks later in a second treatment
Dr. Freeman is not a fan of these Half-Body Radiation treatments because, in her experience with these treatments during clinical trials several years ago, she found that these half-body radiation treatments tended to make the patient very sick and didn’t seem to add enough value to the patient’s prognosis to warrant the negative effects. So she’s not convinced that these half-body radiation treatments as currently used, are a good option for Canine Lymphoma care.
However as further research, modifications and advances are made, it’s possible that these treatments may become more effective and a better option for Canine Lymphoma care in the future.