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A look through the latest literature

The latest academic publications providing further insight into this month's In Focus topic: oncology

Immunotherapeutic treatment of unilateral granulosa theca cell tumours in mares

Daphne Behrendt and others, Equine Veterinary Hospital, Juehnde, Germany

Stallion-like aggressive behaviour is often seen in mares with unilateral granulosa theca cell tumours (GTCT) and will usually be treated by the surgical removal of the affected ovary. The authors investigated the use of a gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine as an alternative to surgery for mares with this condition. Used in four mares with unilateral GTCT, testosterone levels dropped to baseline in each case after two of the scheduled vaccinations. Anti-Mullerian hormone concentration also decreased shortly after the second vaccination in three cases. The affected ovaries were found to have diminished in size, and no further GTCT-linked behaviour was reported by the owners.

Equine Veterinary Journal, 53, 740-745

Invasive micropapillary carcinoma in the canine mammary gland

Michele Rodrigues and others, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horisonte, Brazil

Invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMPC) is a rare but highly aggressive neoplasm affecting the mammary glands of dogs and humans. The microenvironment surrounding a tumour is known to influence its development, but little is known about the cell types surrounding the cystic space in IMPC. The authors carried out immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy investigations to characterise the cells surrounding these tumours in the canine mammary gland. Their findings showed a loss of epithelial cell polarity which they suggest may be a factor contributing to the invasiveness of IMPCs.

BMC Veterinary Research, 17, 130

Review of combined neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy in veterinary patients

Brandan Wustefeld-Janssens and others, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

Human studies suggest there are advantages to oncology patients receiving chemo- and radiation therapy before surgery. It may improve local disease control and overall survival, provide insights into drug efficacy and reduce surgical morbidity and long-term complications. However, there is little equivalent data for companion animals. The authors examine the principles behind the use of neoadjuvant therapies and discuss the opportunities for expanding the evidence base into veterinary medicine.

Journal of Small Animal Practice, 62, 237-243

Impact of histological subtype on survival in canine mammary carcinomas

Byung-Joon Seung and others, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea

Canine mammary carcinoma is the most frequently identified neoplasm in intact female dogs, with up to 50 percent of these lesions being malignant. The authors analysed stored samples from 155 cases to investigate any association between cell type according to Goldschmidt’s 2011 classification and tumour-specific survival. They found that age, histological grade and lymphatic invasion status correlated with tumour-specific survival in a univariate analysis while all three were independent prognostic factors in a multivariate analysis.

Journal of Comparative Pathology, 186, 23-30

Vascular endothelial growth factor as a prognostic marker in mast cell tumours

Samanta Rios Melo and others, Cidade University, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Mast cell tumours are the most common form of skin cancer in dogs, but wide variability in the behaviour of these malignancies may complicate decisions about the prognosis and treatment of dogs with this condition. The authors investigated the prognostic value of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) in canine disease. Their findings suggest that intense VEGF staining was associated with decreased survival times, and they predict that further investigation of VEGF expression may assist in the development of anti-VEGF drugs.

Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 42, 100506

Intracranial meningioma in two cats from the same litter

Ivona Orgonikova and others, Wear Referrals, Stockton-on-Tees

Familial meningioma is well described in human medical literature but has not previously been reported in cats. The authors describe the finding of intracranial meningiomas in two neutered male Norwegian Forest Cats from the same litter, which presented four months apart. One cat had a brainstem meningioma which was treated with radiotherapy while the other had a lesion of the left piriform and temporal lobes which was treated with a rostrotentorial craniectomy. The authors note that in human familial meningiomas a neurofibromatosis type-2 mutation has been shown to be a predisposing genetic factor.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports, 7, 1-7

Clinical outcomes in dogs with transitional cell carcinoma

Marcus Bradbury and others, Hope Veterinary Specialists, Malvern, Pennsylvania

Urinary bladder transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is an invasive neoplasm with a tendency to generate lymph node metastases, and has a generally poor prognosis. The authors assess the outcomes in dogs with TCC treated with partial cystectomy and both adjuvant chemotherapy and COX inhibitors, compared with the latter two chemotherapeutic options given without surgery. Progression-free survival was no different between the two groups and no prognostic factors could be identified to predict progression-free survival.

Canadian Veterinary Journal, 62, 133-140

Blood cell counts as prognostic indicators in canine haemangiosarcoma

Alison Masyr and others, University of Minnesota, St Paul, USA

Haemangiosarcoma (HAS) is a highly aggressive tumour type in dogs, usually originating in the spleen. Currently, tumour stage and location are the only reliable prognostic parameters for this disease. The authors examined the clinical records from 70 client-owned dogs with HAS. They found that perioperative thrombocytopenia was associated with shorter progression-free intervals and overall survival times in these patients. The presence of thrombocytopenia may be a useful prognostic indicator and help guide therapeutic decisions in canine HAS.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 258, 630-637

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