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Concept: Castration


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. In recent years, several new agents, including cancer immunotherapies, have been approved or are currently being investigated in late-stage clinical trials for the management of advanced prostate cancer. Therefore, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a multidisciplinary panel, including physicians, nurses, and patient advocates, to develop consensus recommendations for the clinical application of immunotherapy for prostate cancer patients. To do so, a systematic literature search was performed to identify high-impact papers from 2006 until 2014 and was further supplemented with literature provided by the panel. Results from the consensus panel voting and discussion as well as the literature review were used to rate supporting evidence and generate recommendations for the use of immunotherapy in prostate cancer patients. Sipuleucel-T, an autologous dendritic cell vaccine, is the first and currently only immunotherapeutic agent approved for the clinical management of metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The consensus panel utilized this model to discuss immunotherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer, issues related to patient selection, monitoring of patients during and post treatment, and sequence/combination with other anti-cancer treatments. Potential immunotherapies emerging from late-stage clinical trials are also discussed. As immunotherapy evolves as a therapeutic option for the treatment of prostate cancer, these recommendations will be updated accordingly.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Screening, Castration, Immunotherapy


Boar taint is due to androstenone and skatole (3-methyl-indole) accumulation in fat tissues. During a study to investigate the effect of immunocastration on fattening pigs, an outbreak of acute dysentery occurred caused by Lawsonia intracellularis and Brachyspira hyodysenteriae and resulted in cachexia and high mortality. Low androstenone levels in the immunocastrates (0.25±0.04μg/g liquid fat) suggested that the immunocastration had been effective, but unusually high skatole concentrations in fat tissues were found not only in entire males, but also in surgical castrates and immunocastrates (0.22±0.15, 0.14±0.08 and 0.18±0.14μg/g liquid fat, respectively). The findings suggest that boar taint can arise in cases of intestinal infections, even in castrated pigs.

Concepts: Male, Surgery, Effectiveness, Suggestion, Pig, Domestic pig, Castration


Proliferative and necrotising otitis externa is a rare and recently described disease affecting the ear canals and concave pinnae of kittens. This article describes a case of proliferative and necrotising otits externa in a young adult cat. In this case, the lesions did not affected the pinnae, but both ear canals were severely involved. Video-otoscopy revealed a digitally proliferative lesion, growing at 360° all around the ear canals for their entire length, without involvement of the middle ear. Histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis, and the cat responded completely to a once-daily application of 0.1% tacrolimus ointment diluted in mineral oil in the ear canals. Video-otoscopy findings, not described previously, were very peculiar and may help clinicians to diagnose this rare disease.

Concepts: Anatomical pathology, Auditory system, Otitis media, Ear, Cat, Otitis externa, Castration, Kitten


The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of synthetic feline interdigital semiochemical (FIS) on the induction of scratching behaviour in cats during a standardised behavioural test. The trial was a randomised blinded study on a single group of subjects, following a crossover design. The scratching behaviour of 19 cats was evaluated during a standardised test in which cats were introduced to an area with one scratching post. Each cat acted as its own control (receiving, at random, FIS then placebo or vice versa). The test lasted for 5 mins, after which the cat was left alone in the test area. Duration, frequency of scratching and latency of first scratching behaviour were noted. Two independent observers analysed the videos. Thirty-eight tests were recorded with a different scratching post each time (two tests per cat). The scratching post with the semiochemical was more scratched in duration and frequency by the cats involved in the study (intention to treat analysis). The same conclusion was found using per-protocol analysis, which included only cats that scratched during the test. Regarding latency, no significant difference was found between treatment and placebo. The results seem of interest in explaining the role of a FIS in inducing scratching behaviour on a scratching post. The semiochemical approach can modify the choice of areas selected spontaneously by cats, and could be used either as a preventive measure for a cat arriving at home or to control or change an inappropriate scratching behaviour.

Concepts: Crossover study, Cat, Felidae, Castration, Intention to treat analysis, Felis, Standardized test, Scratching post


Male piglets are castrated to reduce boar taint and also to reduce aggressive and sexual behaviour. However, the procedure as traditionally performed is painful and negatively affects performance. Large-scale results about the consequences of implementing alternatives on farms are lacking. We, therefore, investigated the practical applicability of the following five alternatives that can be implemented in the short term: surgical castration (1) without pain relief (CONT, control group), (2) with analgesia (MET, Metacam, 0.2 ml, 10 to 15 min before castration), (3) with general anaesthesia (CO2, inhalation, 100% CO2, 25 s, 3 l/min), (4) vaccination against boar taint (IM, two injections with Improvac) and (5) production of entire males (EM). The study consisted of the following two trials: (1) an experimental farm trial with 18 animals/treatment and (2) a large field trial on 20 farms with ~120 male pigs/farm per treatment and all treatments performed on each farm. Performance results as well as data on carcass traits, boar taint (hot-iron method) and testes development and weight were collected in both trials. Neither castration nor administration of analgesia or anaesthesia had an effect on daily gain of the piglets in the farrowing crates (P>0.05). Farmer records indicated that mortality in the farrowing crates (1.1%), nursery pens (1.8%) and fattening stable (2.2%) was not influenced by MET or CO2 compared with EM, IM or CONT (P>0.05). No significant differences were found for daily gain (P>0.05) nor slaughter age (P>0.05). Immunocastrates and EM had a better gain-to-feed ratio (P<0.05) compared with the groups of barrows (CONT, MET and CO2). Lean meat percentage was higher for EM compared with the barrows, and intermediate for IM (P<0.05). Carcass yield was lowest for IM (P<0.05). The hot-iron method indicated that boar taint was eliminated in barrows and IM compared with EM (P<0.001). Average prevalence of strong boar taint was 3% for EM, but varied from 0% to 14% between farms. As the effect of treatment on performance as well as the level of boar taint of EM was farm dependent, farmers should be encouraged to pre-test the different alternatives in order to make a well-considered choice for the best practical and profitable alternative for their farm.

Concepts: Pain, Pig, Wild boar, Domestic pig, Suidae, Pork, Castration, Entire


The objectives of the study were to examine the association between diagnosis of cystine urolithiasis and entire versus neutered status in male dogs and whether the strength of association varies among breeds.

Concepts: United Kingdom, The Association, Dog, Dog breed, Castration, Neutering, Estrous cycle, Status Quo


Objectives This study was undertaken to verify the possible modifications caused by hormonal deprivation in the extracellular matrix in the penises of neutered cats. Methods Twenty-seven penises from domestic shorthair cats were collected: 14 samples from intact cats and 13 from neutered cats. Sections were stained with Weigert’s resorcin-fuchsin, hematoxylin and eosin, and picrosirius red. Histomorphometric analysis was performed using light microscopy and image analysis software. The following parameters were analyzed: density of the elastic fibers and collagen fibers in the corpus spongiosum; density of the elastic fibers in the tunica albuginea of the corpus cavernosum and the tunica albuginea of the corpus spongiosum; luminal area of the urethra; area of the corpus spongiosum; area of the corpus cavernosum; and thickness of the urethral epithelium. The data were analyzed using the Shapiro-Wilk test to verify the normal distribution, and groups were compared using Student’s t-test; P <0.05 indicated statistically significant differences. Results Significant differences were observed between intact cats and neutered cats in the density of elastic fibers in the tunica albuginea of the corpus cavernosum (8.13% ± 1.38% vs 3.11% ± 0.66%), tunica albuginea of the corpus spongiosum (4.37% ± 1.08% vs 3.30% ± 1.01%) and corpus spongiosum (6.28% ± 3.03% vs 4.10% ± 2.19%), and density of collagen fibers in the corpus spongiosum (34.11% ± 10.86% vs 44.21% ± 12.72%). Conclusions and relevance The results show a significant decrease in the density of the elastic fibers and a significant increase of the density of the collagen fibers in the corpus spongiosum in neutered animals. This suggests that the compliance of the periurethral region is reduced, and these changes could be a predisposing factor for urethral obstructive disease.

Concepts: Statistics, Statistical significance, Student's t-test, Normal distribution, Cat, Penis, Castration, Neutering


Prognostic models in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) may have clinical utility. Using data from PDS, we aimed to 1) validate a contemporary prognostic model (Templeton et al., 2014) 2) evaluate prognostic impact of concomitant medications and PSA decrease 3) evaluate factors associated with docetaxel toxicity.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Chemotherapy, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Testicular cancer, Castration


Approximately 2-3 million cats enter animal shelters annually in the United States. A large proportion of these are unowned community cats that have no one to reclaim them and may be too unsocialized for adoption. More than half of impounded cats are euthanased due to shelter crowding, shelter-acquired disease or feral behavior. Trap-neuter-return (TNR), an alternative to shelter impoundment, improves cat welfare and reduces the size of cat colonies, but has been regarded as too impractical to reduce cat populations on a larger scale or to limit shelter cat intake. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of TNR concentrated in a region of historically high cat impoundments in a Florida community. A 2-year program was implemented to capture and neuter at least 50% of the estimated community cats in a single 11.9 km(2) zip code area, followed by return to the neighborhood or adoption. Trends in shelter cat intake from the target zip code were compared to the rest of the county. A total of 2366 cats, representing approximately 54% of the projected community cat population in the targeted area, were captured for the TNR program over the 2-year study period. After 2 years, per capita shelter intake was 3.5-fold higher and per capita shelter euthanasia was 17.5-fold higher in the non-target area than in the target area. Shelter cat impoundment from the target area where 60 cats/1000 residents were neutered annually decreased by 66% during the 2-year study period, compared to a decrease of 12% in the non-target area, where only 12 cats/1000 residents were neutered annually. High-impact TNR combined with the adoption of socialized cats and nuisance resolution counseling for residents is an effective tool for reducing shelter cat intake.

Concepts: The Target, Cat, Per Capita, Dog, Castration, Neutering, Feral, Trap-Neuter-Return


The assessment of pain is critical for the welfare of horses, in particular when pain is induced by common management procedures such as castration. Existing pain assessment methods have several limitations, which reduce the applicability in everyday life. Assessment of facial expression changes, as a novel means of pain scoring, may offer numerous advantages and overcome some of these limitations. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a standardised pain scale based on facial expressions in horses (Horse Grimace Scale [HGS]).

Concepts: Gene expression, Assessment, Management, Horse, Expression, Castration, Gelding, Facial expression