Our Story

The Flint Animal Cancer Center officially opened its doors in 2002. However, our roots in veterinary cancer care were planted in the late ’70s by Colorado State University’s Dr. Stephen Withrow, a veterinary surgeon, and Dr. Ed Gillette, a radiation biologist and veterinarian. At the time, veterinarians recognized that animals developed cancer. Because no advanced diagnostics or treatments were available, clinicians were left to make a note in the patient record and observe the outcome, which was almost universally fatal. Drs. Withrow and Gillette believed cancer could be treated in animals, much like it was in humans. They hypothesized that naturally occurring cancers, particularly in dogs, were similar to many cancers in people, making dogs a relevant model in which to study the disease in both species. They dreamed of establishing a cancer research program that studied cancer in both pets and people, an area of study formally called comparative oncology. Initially borrowing therapeutic protocols from human medicine, the duo built a successful veterinary-specific cancer care clinical and research program and went on to develop new therapies to benefit both pets and people.

Our mission is to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pet animals, translating our research and knowledge to also benefit people with cancer.

Foundational Principles

Compassionate and Comprehensive Clinical Care Compassionate and Comprehensive Clinical Care

Our attentive staff partner with families every step of the way to support decision-making with a focus on patient quality of life. Through a unique multidisciplinary approach, we deliver superior treatment for common cancers, and our decades of innovative cancer care allows us to offer hope for patients with complicated diagnoses that cannot be managed anywhere else.

Transformative and Collaborative Research Transformative and Collaborative Research

For nearly four decades, we have been at the forefront of understanding the fundamental mechanisms of cancer biology. As comparative oncology pioneers, we continue to pursue breakthroughs led by our world-class team of scientists and clinical specialists. Our faculty collaborate within and outside the cancer center to move basic scientific findings to clinical studies and on to standard care.

Innovative and Exceptional Teaching Innovative and Exceptional Teaching

Since 1982, we have trained more veterinary specialists in medical, surgical, and radiation oncology than any other institution in the world. Training tomorrow’s specialists is pivotal to ensuring every pet diagnosed with cancer has access to expert care.

Purposeful and Responsive Outreach Purposeful and Responsive Outreach

As members of a land grant institution, we are committed to sharing our knowledge and expertise. Through our Consultation Service, we work with referring veterinarians and their clients. Each year, we welcome professional visitors from around the globe. Our efforts extend to the general public to raise pet cancer awareness, explain the similarities of cancer across species, and share the benefits of comparative oncology research.


Golden retriever with veterinarian and veterinary technician.

The Flint Animal Cancer Center’s clinical program is one of the best in the world, leading the way in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in dogs, cats, and other companion animals. Paired with our commitment to compassionate care, what makes us genuinely unique is our comprehensive clinical oncology team that includes board-certified medical, radiation, and surgical oncology specialists. The Flint Animal Cancer Center offers cutting edge diagnostics, advanced treatment options, and personalized treatment plans for each patient all conveniently located under one roof.

The Promise of Comparative Oncology Research

Dog walking next to person

Comparative oncology brings together studies of naturally occurring cancers in more than one species. The field benefits pets by treating their disease and enhancing their well-being. It helps people by speeding up discovery and innovative therapies. Thanks to the foresight of Drs. Withrow and Gillette, and under the leadership of Dr. Rod Page  today, the Flint Animal Cancer Center is recognized worldwide for innovative companion animal cancer care and comparative oncology research. In 2011, the center launched the One Cure initiative. One Cure’s mission is to advance cancer research through comparative oncology clinical trials and basic research.

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