Government Relations

UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2007-2008 Session

Pending Legislation

SB 456

Enumeration for Additional Capital Project for Tomotherapy at UW-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine

Full Description

(Risser/Hines): ) At the December 2007 Board of Regents meeting, Regents approved Resolution I.3.F (Full Agenda p. 160) requesting enumeration of this additional capitol project at UW-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine to house a TomoTherapy machine.

Financed with no additional cost through to the state, the entire $2,546,000 for the project is provided through gifts and grants to the school.

This bill provides the legislative approval necessary to amend the State Building Program for that specific purpose.

Referred to:
SB456 - Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education on 2/05/08.
AB766 - Referred to Committee on Public Health on 2/6/08.  Public hearing scheduled on 2/13/08.  

UW System Position

Support:  This project will construct an addition to the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) to house a veterinary TomoTherapy unit.  The SVM has one of the top veterinary oncology programs in the nation.  The school’s existing Cobalt 60 radiation unit can treat cancers in pets, however the unit is outdated.  TomoTherapy pinpoints treatment of tumors near the eye or other sensitive tissues, avoiding damage or loss of organs during treatment.

This would be the first TomoTherapy unit in use for veterinary medicine in the world.   Without access to modern equipment, the school cannot continue to improve treatment for dogs with cancer because funding agencies are increasingly reluctant to support clinical trials involving aged and unreliable equipment such as the Cobalt 60 unit. 

A typical TomoTherapy unit costs more than $3 million, but because the School of Veterinary Medicine helped with initial trials and because the parent company is located in Madison, TomoTherapy is offering the school a new unit, reengineered for animal use.