Faculty Spotlight: Laura Garrett, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), Hospital Chief of Staff

Dec 21, 2015 / Practitioner Updates

Laura Garrett

Laura Garrett has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois since 2006.

Will you be speaking anywhere in the near feature?

I am speaking at the Midwest Veterinary Conference in Columbus, Ohio, at the end of February. I spoke there a few years ago and was impressed by what a well-run, friendly, and large (> 6,000 attendees) meeting it was. I’m giving six talks in one day; the topics include cytology, osteosarcoma, and communication.

Are there any new studies oncology will be performing?

We are leading a multi-institutional clinical trial investigating an anti-metastatic agent for canine osteosarcoma. This trial includes the standard of care therapy of amputation and chemotherapy for all enrolled dogs; after finishing the chemotherapy protocol, the patients are randomized to follow-up monitoring or rapamycin therapy. The vast majority of dogs tolerate amputation and chemotherapy excellently, and minimal side effects are expected with the rapamycin. The trial is partially funded and covers roughly half of the cost of amputation and almost all of the costs associated with chemotherapy treatment. Please give us a call to find out more about this exciting new approach to extending survival in dogs with osteosarcoma!

What do you enjoy about being an oncology faculty doctor?

I am grateful, almost every day, that I became an oncologist. I’ve had many people ask me how I can work in such a depressing field, and I answer that it really isn’t depressing. Being able to work with dedicated pet owners and provide answers and options at a scary time is very rewarding. We get to see clients and patients repeatedly and build relationships over weeks, months, and even years of treatments—something that occurs naturally in general veterinary practice but rarely in many of the speciality areas. And we also get to work with a fantastic referring veterinarian population and help to build the critical triangle of client/pet–trusted general practitioner–specialist.

In taking on the additional role as chief of staff, I hope to continue to reach out to our referring veterinarians and create even more connections to help them and their patients through all of the services our hospital provides.