Department: Clinical Science and Services

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: CPCS (Research Programme)

Clinical Groups: Small Animal Oncology

Research Centres: Clinical Investigation Centre

Ana is a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Oncology. She is the Director of the Royal Veterinary College’s ACVIM oncology residency training programme and the Vice-President of the European Society of Veterinary Oncology since 2013. Her research focus in development of new therapies for dogs with cancer and assessment of Quality of life during anticancer therapy in pets. She is also a clinician in the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, the largest small animal referral centre in Europe.

Ana graduated from the University of Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain in 1998 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine which she followed with a PhD in platelet function in dogs with neoplastic disease. She finished her PhD in 2003 and following this moved to Ohio State University in the USA where she first completed an internship in oncology, and then a residency in haematology and oncology, obtaining her  diploma in Veterinary Oncology by the American College of Veterianry Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in February 2008. She also holds the Oncology diploma by the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM-CA)  in December 2008 and is an RCVS recognised specialist in Veterinary Oncology.

Between summer 2007 and June 2008 Ana was employed as a Clinical Instructor in Oncology and Haematology at Ohio State University and in July 2008 she joined the RVC as a Lecturer in Oncology with the goal of developing the RVC Oncology Service at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals. Ana was Head of the RVC oncology service between 2009 and 2014. During this period the oncology service grew up and developed to be one of the busiest oncology referral services in UK, supported by a team of oncology dedicated nurses, 4 senior clincians and 4 ACVIM oncology residents. The RVC oncology residency training program is the only program in oncology acredited by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Europe. 

Ana is a member of the RVC  Comparative Physiology and Medicine and Immune regulation and cancer research groups, and is an active member of the Oncology Special Interest Group (part of Comparative Physiology and Medicine). She has focused in developing the undergraduate teaching opportunities in clinical oncology at the RVC within the curriculum and leading the student clinical oncology rotation at the QMHA. She enjoys teaching practical oncology to students who will soon become private practitioners. 

Ana is very interested in partipating actively in the development of Veterinary Oncology in Europe. She is part of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Veterinary Oncology (ESVONC) since 2011 and is Vicepresident of ESVONC since 2013. She is also a member of the scientific committee of ESVONC and ECVIM-CA congress. 

Ana's main research interests are based on clinical oncology, including development of new therapies for dogs with cancer and assessment of Quality of life during anticancer therapy in pets. In addition, research about specific presentations and outcome of some types of cancer in pets for which there is a lack of clinical information has become an additional focus. Ana has a strong background in hemostasis and cancer and she also accumulated great experience in veterinary oncology clinical trials during her time working at The Ohio State University (USA).  

Currently she is principal investigator in three clinical trials at the RVC. 1) assessing pharmacokinetics and efficacy in canine cancer of a novel cytotoxic drug called SG2000, 2) assessing quality of life and prognostic markers in dogs with advanced carcinomas undergoing metronomic therapy and 3) as part of a multi-institutional study determinining efficacy of a vaccine for dogs with multicentric diffuse high grade B-cell lymphoma (see Projects section for futher details).

Other research projects that she is currently leading are: outcome and prognostic factors of canine colorectal lymphoma; outcome and prognostic factors of canine renal lymphoma; outcome and clinical and histopathological prognostic factors of renal carcinomas; use of vascular access ports for management of malignant effusion and administration of intracavitary chemotherapy to dogs with intrathoracic mesotheliomas or carcinomatosis.

Leo C, Stell A, Borrego J, Martinez de Merlo E, Ruess-Melzer K, Lara-Garcia A. Evaluation of low-dose metronomic (LDM) cyclophosphamide toxicity in cats with malignant neoplasia. J Feline Med Surg. 2014 Aug;16(8):671-8.

Taylor AJ, Lara-Garcia A, Benigni L. Ultrasonographic characteristics of canine renal lymphoma. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2014 Jul-Aug;55(4):441-6.

Alvarez FJ, Kisseberth W, Hosoya K, Lara-Garcia A, Kosarek C, Murahari S, Au JL, Wientjes MG, Couto J, Couto G. Postoperative adjuvant combination therapy
with doxorubicin and noncytotoxic suramin in dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma.J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2014 Jan-Feb;50(1):12-8.

Pinheiro D, Chang YM, Bryant H, Szladovits B, Dalessandri T, Davison LJ, Yallop E, Mills E, Leo C, Lara A, Stell A, Polton G, Garden OA. Dissecting the regulatory microenvironment of a large animal model of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: evidence of a negative prognostic impact of FOXP3+ T cells in canine B cell lymphoma. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 13;9(8):e105027.

Alvarez FJ, Hosoya K, Lara-Garcia A, Kisseberth W, Couto G. VAC protocol for treatment of dogs with stage III hemangiosarcoma. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2013 Nov-Dec;49(6):370-7. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5954.

Marín LM, Iazbik MC, Zaldivar-Lopez S, Lord LK, Stingle N, Vilar P, Lara-Garcia A, Alvarez F, Hosoya K, Nelson L, Pozzi A, Cooper E, McLoughlin MA, Ball R, Kisseberth WC, London CA, Dudley R, Dyce J, McMahon M, Lerche P, Bednarski R, Couto CG. Retrospective evaluation of the effectiveness of epsilon aminocaproic acid for the prevention of postamputation bleeding in retired racing Greyhounds with appendicular bone tumors: 46 cases (2003-2008). J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22(3):332-40.

Vilar Saavedra P, Lara García A, Zaldívar López S, Couto G. Hemostatic abnormalities in dogs with carcinoma: a thromboelastographic characterization of hypercoagulability. Vet J. 2011 Nov;190(2):e78-83.

Gómez-Ochoa P, Lara A, Couto G, Marcen JM, Peris A, Gascón M, Castillo JA. The nitroblue tetrazolium reduction test in canine leishmaniasis. Vet Parasitol. 2010 Aug 27;172(1-2):135-8.

Hosoya K, Lord LK, Lara-Garcia A, Kisseberth WC, London CA, Couto CG. Prevalence of elevated alanine transaminase activity in dogs treated with CCNU (Lomustine)*. Vet Comp Oncol. 2009 Dec;7(4):244-55.HOSOYA K., KISSEBERTH W.C., ALVAREZ F.J., LARA-GARCIA A., BEAMER G., STROMBERG P.C., COUTO C.G. (2009). Adjuvant CCNU (lomustine) and prednisone chemotherapy for dogs with incompletely excised grade 2 mast cell tumors. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 45,14-8.  

LARA-GARCIA A., WELLMAN M., BURKHARD M.J., MACHADO-PARRULA C., VALLI V.E., STROMBERG P.C., COUTO C.G. (2008). Cervical thymoma originating in ectopic thymic tissue in a cat. Vet Clin Pathol 37, 397-402.  

LARA-GARCIA, A., HOSOYA, K., IAZBIK, C., WESTENDORF, N., GALLANT, S. & COUTO, G. (2008) Evaluation of a point-of-care hematology analyzer for use in dogs and cats receiving chemotherapeutic treatment. J Am Vet Med Assoc 232, 1488-1495.

LARA-GARCIA, A., COUTO, C. G., IAZBIK, M. C. & BROOKS, M. B. (2008) Postoperative bleeding in retired racing greyhounds. J Vet Intern Med 22, 525-533.

SKORUPSKI, K. A., CLIFFORD, C. A., PAOLONI, M. C., LARA-GARCIA, A., BARBER, L., KENT, M. S., LEBLANC, A. K., SABHLOK, A., MAULDIN, E. A., SHOFER, F. S., COUTO, C. G. & SORENMO, K. U. (2007) CCNU for the treatment of dogs with histiocytic sarcoma. J Vet Intern Med 21, 121-126.

HOSOYA, K., KISSEBERTH, W. C., LORD, L. K., ALVAREZ, F. J., LARA-GARCIA, A., KOSAREK, C. E., LONDON, C. A. & COUTO, C. G. (2007) Comparison of COAP and UW-19 protocols for dogs with multicentric lymphoma. J Vet Intern Med 21, 1355-1363.

FISCHETTI, A. J., LARA-GARCIA, A. & GROSS, S. (2006) What is your diagnosis? Idiopathic calvarial hyperostosis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 229, 211-212.

COUTO, C. G., LARA, A., IAZBIK, M. C. & BROOKS, M. B. (2006) Evaluation of platelet aggregation using a point-of-care instrument in retired racing Greyhounds. J Vet Intern Med 20, 365-370.

ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS, A., HELLMEN, E., RAMIREZ, G. A., HERRAEZ, P., RODRIGUEZ, F., ORDAS, J., MILLAN, Y., LARA, A. & MARTIN DE LAS MULAS, J. (2003) Lipid-rich carcinomas of the mammary gland in seven dogs: clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical features. Vet Pathol 40, 718-723.

In her role Ana is involved in undergraduate lecturing, final year rotational teaching and supervision of junior and senior clinical training scholars. She also delivers oncology CPD courses and lectures in United Kingdom and other countries.

Ana is a member of the Small Animal Oncology team within the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA), seeing dogs and cats with all types of cancer. One of Ana’s overall clinical aims is to help clients, students and colleagues to see cancer as a more treatable disease. She would also like clients to have all the options for treatment made available to them and for them to be able to make an informed decision regarding their pets’ treatment with quality of life being of utmost importance. Ana is also involved in the teaching and supervision of students, Junior and Senior Clinical Training Scholars (Interns and Residents) in the QMHA.

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