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Amazing Acai Going Strong Two Years After Devastating Cancer Diagnosis

28 March 2022

A beloved pet cat who was given just days to live is still feline fine two years after cutting-edge cancer treatment at NDSR reversed his life-threatening cancer.

Such has been amazing Acai’s power of recovery 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, said Acai’s recovery was “extraordinary”.

Gerry, a European and 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 tongue, showing the tumour in remission after electrochemotherapy

Acai’s tongue, showing the tumour in remission after electrochemotherapy


Acai’s owner Emma Packer, from South East London is understandably thrilled that her precious pet has beaten the odds and survived 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!”

Acai relaxing at home after treatment at North Downs Specialist Referrals

Acai relaxing at home after treatment at North Downs Specialist Referrals


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