Acai going strong after devastating cancer diagnosis - Veterinary Practice
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Acai going strong after devastating cancer diagnosis

A beloved pet cat who was given just days to live is still feline fine two years after cutting-edge cancer treatment at one of the UK’s top animal hospitals reversed his life-threatening cancer. Acai’s amazing power of recovery is such that even the oncology specialist who carried out the life-saving electrochemotherapy treatment back in April 2020 has been left astounded at the results.

Gerry Polton, oncology specialist and clinical director at Linnaeus-owned North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR), in Bletchingley, Surrey, said Acai’s recovery was “extraordinary”.

Gerry, a European and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) oncology specialist, said: “Acai was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma on the underside of his tongue in early 2020. This is a painful and destructive tumour and, normally, life expectancy for these cases is only about 50 days.

“However, it is now two years since Acai’s lump was first identified and the fact that he is happy and well at this point is extraordinary.

“We’re obviously delighted and want to share this success story to raise awareness of the electrochemotherapy treatment so that other cats can benefit from it. It combines a low dose of a chemotherapy drug and an electrical pulse, which is applied directly by an electrode. When the electric pulse is applied the cells form pores, allowing the drug to enter and be active against the cancer.

“In Acai’s case it was an almost instant success. The tumour visibly resolved and the mass was no longer apparent after the first three treatments.”

Acai’s owner Emma Packer, from South East London, is understandably thrilled that her precious pet has beaten the odds and survived cancer for so long.

She said: “It is simply remarkable that I was told Acai had 50 days to live, and we are now two years on thanks to this incredible new chemo treatment – and Gerry!

“Acai appears better than ever and is in good spirits every day, always waking me up with a loud purr demanding a cuddle and food. His appetite is now back to normal and he hasn’t vomited in over six months – which is amazing.  It feels like he is back to his old self and loving life.

“I know he is just a cat but I have had some tough times over the years and he has always been there giving me love when I need it. So I count my lucky stars he is still in my life, as I can’t imagine life without him!”

North Downs Specialist Referrals offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.

For more information visit their website or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media.

Have you heard about our
IVP Membership?

A wide range of veterinary CPD and resources by leading veterinary professionals.

Stress-free CPD tracking and certification, you’ll wonder how you coped without it.

Discover more