Severity of adverse events in dogs undergoing cancer chemotherapy
Thomas Chavalle and others, VetAgro Sup, University of Lyon, France
Information on adverse events in canine chemotherapy patients is usually taken from early-stage trials of a single formulation, whereas clinical practice will often involve a combination of agents. Hence there is a paucity of published data on the prevalence and nature of severe adverse events in client-owned dogs. The authors reviewed the records from 155 canine chemotherapy patients. Adverse events were recorded in 80 percent of cases, with severe effects in 32 percent. Blood cell malignancies were associated with a high frequency of severe adverse events, particularly gastrointestinal problems, and these would often require hospitalisation. A multi-agent protocol was also associated with frequent severe effects, while large body size had a protective effect.
Safety of an autologous cancer vaccine in horses
Chelsea Greenberg and others, Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Farmington, Connecticut
Autologous cancer vaccines are an emerging option for adjuvant cancer treatment in veterinary medicine. This technique involves removing tumour cells, processing the sample ex vivo and returning the cells to the patient, with the aim of stimulating an immune response to the unique patient-specific antigens. The authors examined records from 41 equine cases and 252 treatment cycles in which this technique was used. There were adverse reactions in only 1.6 percent of the administered doses, all reported as being mild. Further studies are needed to investigate the efficacy of this treatment in horses.
Cardiac needle biopsy used in the diagnosis of feline cardiac lymphoma
Shigeki Tanaka and others, Alpha Animal Hospital, Nagano, Japan
Cardiac tumours are rare in cats, with lymphoma accounting for more than half the reported cases. A diagnosis is usually made from post-mortem samples. The authors describe the identification of cardiac lymphoma in a living cat using a cardiac needle biopsy. The patient was a three-year-old male domestic shorthair that was listless and inappetent, with evidence of cardiomegaly on radiological examination. The biopsy was performed with a 25G needle, and a large number of oversized atypical lymphocytes were collected. The patient showed temporary remission following chemotherapy but died 60 days after beginning treatment.
Diagnosis and staging of canine cutaneous and subcutaneous mast cell tumours
Ed Bellamy and Davide Berlato, Dick White Referrals, Newmarket
Canine mast cell tumours are the most common malignant cutaneous tumours in dogs, and are responsible for about 20 percent of all skin neoplasms in this species. Surgery is effective in most cases, but a subset of tumours can be biologically aggressive, resulting in local recurrence and/or metastasis. The authors review the diagnosis and staging of these lesions and the evidence to support the different treatments available. They also identify the prognostic markers that help identify more aggressive tumours and assess the options for treating those that are large, infiltrative or in difficult locations for wide surgical excision.
Calcifying aponeurotic fibroma on the paw of a dog
Yeseul Yang and others, Seoul National University, South Korea
Fibromas are uncommon in dogs and will usually be slow-growing lesions, generally treatable with surgical excision. The authors describe a case in a 12-year-old neutered female Maltese Terrier which presented with a cervical mass. Another lesion was noticed on clinical examination affecting the left rear paw. Biopsy samples from the paw indicated that the lesion was a calcifying aponeurotic fibroma (CAF), while the cervical mass was identified as a thyroid follicular carcinoma. This appears to be the first case of a CAF in a canine patient showing clinical features identical to those seen in the equivalent disease in humans.
Undifferentiated laryngeal carcinoma with hyaline bodies in a cat
Filippo Torrigiani and others, University of Padua, Italy
Laryngeal tumours are seen infrequently in companion animals, accounting for only 0.2 percent of canine and 0.14 percent of feline cancer cases. Lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the types most frequently seen in feline patients, and both have a poor prognosis and are regarded as highly aggressive and difficult to treat. The authors report a case of a 13-year-old cat that presented with progressive respiratory signs. The patient died one month after examination, and post-mortem samples revealed a primary undifferentiated laryngeal carcinoma. They also describe, for the first time in a feline case, large intracytoplasmic hyaline bodies similar to those seen in some human patients.
Haemophagocytic syndrome associated with a large granular lymphoma in a dog
Mara Varvil and others, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Haemophagocytic syndrome is an unusual disorder characterised by dysregulation of the immune response and uncontrolled activation of macrophages leading to phagocytosis of host cells. The authors describe a case of a four-year-old neutered female Old English Mastiff that presented with severe thrombocytopenia, anaemia, leukopenia and large granular lymphocytes. The patient suffered cardiac arrest one day after bone marrow sampling, and the owner declined a post-mortem examination. The authors state that the incident is probably a case of lymphoma-associated haemophagocytic syndrome due to large granular lymphocyte lymphoma.
Ovarian suture granuloma resembling a tumour in a bitch
Doroteja Huber and others, University of Zagreb, Croatia
The development of granulomas is a rare complication of ovariohysterectomy procedures in dogs. On gross examination and diagnostic imaging, these lesions may mimic the appearance of neoplasms. The authors describe such a case in a five-year-old mixed-breed bitch that presented with a one-week history of anorexia and apathy. Radiology and ultrasound revealed a 9cm by 7cm mass, presumed to be a tumour, which was surgically removed. Histopathological examination revealed that the mass was a result of granulomatous inflammation in reaction to a foreign body, likely a suture from an earlier neutering procedure.