A state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research facility for animals \u2013 believed to be the first of its kind in Europe \u2013 was opened yesterday by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe facility at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has been purpose-built to treat horses, dogs and cats with cancer and will also assist in furthering understanding of the disease in animals.\r\nThe chief executive of the AHT Peter Webbon said it was a \u201clandmark achievement\u201d in the Trust\u2019s history. \u201c2012 marks 70 years of the AHT fighting disease and injury in animals. We now have a short commissioning process to undertake but anticipate welcoming the first patients through the doors in early 2013.\u201d\r\nThe Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT houses a linear accelerator and brachytherapy machine used in radiotherapy treatment, along with a 16-slice CT scanner to aid radiotherapy planning.\r\nThe new facility complements the AHT\u2019s existing cancer treatment options of surgery and chemotherapy meaning the Suffolk-based charity will be able to offer each and every patient the very best options for their specific case, whatever the diagnosis.\r\nWith one in four dogs and one in six cats developing cancer at some time in their life, the new centre will help many more animals fight cancer. The speed at which the centre was built was due to a generous donation from a life-long supporter of the AHT, the late Tom Scott, and an interest-free loan of \u00a31.5 million from the Kennel Club.\r\nOn opening the facility, HRH The Princess Royal, president of the AHT, said: \u201cThis cancer centre is an exciting development at the AHT and will make a real difference for animals with cancer, here and now. It will improve the chances, for many animals, of beating this pernicious disease.\r\n\u201cCountless other horses, dogs and cats across the world with cancer will also benefit from knowledge gained from research in the Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT.\u201d\r\nKennel Club chairman Steve Dean added: \u201cIt is exciting to consider how synergy between the Kennel Club Cancer Centre and the Kennel Club Genetics Centre can help to further the understanding of the inheritance factors that influence the development of cancer.\u201d\r\nImages:\u00a0The AHT's Jo Junker demonstrates the linear accelerator to HRH The Princess Royal; and\u00a0HRH The Princess Royal officially opens The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT.