Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Veterinary and comparative oncology


Oral malignant melanoma (OMM) in the dog is often locally aggressive with a high metastatic potential and there are few treatment options that have been demonstrated to improve outcome of this disease. The purpose of this study was to determine whether adjunctive treatment with the Oncept melanoma vaccine affected the outcome of dogs with OMM that had achieved loco-regional cancer control. Medical records from 45 dogs that presented to the Animal Cancer and Imaging Center were reviewed, including 30 dogs with stage II and III disease. Dogs that received the vaccine did not achieve a greater progression-free survival, disease-free interval or median survival time than dogs that did not receive the vaccine.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy


The study hypothesis is that higher doses of metronomic (low-dose) chlorambucil will improve outcome without significantly worsening adverse events (AE). Retrospectively, 88 dogs were screened to assess for tolerability and response to chlorambucil utilizing retrospective and prospective data sets, comparing metronomic oral daily doses 4, 6 and 8 mg m(2) . There were 78 and 70 dogs in the tolerability and efficacy portions, respectively. The severity of gastrointestinal (GI) AE was significantly worse, and time to development of GI events was significantly shorter at 6 mg m(2) than at 4 mg m(2) (both P < 0.001). Chlorambucil was discontinued earlier in the dogs treated at the 6 mg m(2) doses than in the dogs treated at 4 mg m(2) (P = 0.015). Thrombocytopenia occurred significantly earlier at 8 mg m(2) than at 4 mg m(2) (P = 0.017). Higher doses of metronomic (low-dose) chlorambucil did not provide improved responses and were associated with more AE.

Concepts: Better, Comparison, Improve, Hypothesis, Trigraph, Gh, Comparisons


Feline injection-site sarcoma (FISS) is commonly treated with surgery and radiation therapy. Despite aggressive therapy, FISS has a high recurrence rate. The true benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy is not known. DNA damage response mechanisms help protect against genomic instability but can also promote chemoresistance. In order to determine whether DNA damage is a feature of FISS, we evaluated tumour tissues with γH2AX immunohistochemistry. H2AX is phosphorylated to form γH2AX following DNA double strand breaks. Seventeen FISS specimens were evaluated prospectively. DNA damage ranged from 2.18 to33.7%, with a median of 16.2%. Significant differences were noted between cats (P < 0.0001). Mitotic index ranged from 0 to 57 with a median of 13 and did not correlate with γH2AX positivity (P = 0.2). Further studies are needed to determine if γH2AX expression may predict chemosensitivity and have independent value as a prognostic factor.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Cancer, DNA repair, Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy


Because of their locally invasive growth and high recurrence rate despite of aggressive local therapy, treatment of feline sarcomas is challenging. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) toceranib is currently licensed for the treatment of canine mast cell tumours. There are only few reports about TKI usage in cats. Previous studies indicated promising potential of TKI for the treatment of feline injection site sarcoma (FISS). In this prospective clinical trial, 18 cats with unresectable FISS were treated at a target dosage of 3.25 mg kg(-1) every other day to evaluate the clinical efficacy and toxicity of toceranib. There was no clinical response measurable. Adverse events were generally mild and temporary. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events developed infrequently and all resolved with drug holidays and dose reductions.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Cancer, Signal transduction, Effectiveness, Protein kinase, Clinical research, Adverse event


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) infiltrate into a variety of tumour tissues and associate with poor prognosis in humans. However, data on association of Treg infiltration with prognosis is limited in canine tumours. The purpose of this study was to examine the number of tumour-infiltrating Tregs and its association with overall survival (OS) in dogs with malignant tumours. The following 168 canine tumours were included: 37 oral malignant melanomas (OMMs); 14 oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs); 16 pulmonary adenocarcinomas (PAs); 37 mammary carcinomas (MCs); 36 mast cell tumours (MCTs) and 28 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Normal tissues were obtained from 8 healthy dogs as controls. The number of forkhead box P3 (Foxp3)-positive Tregs in intratumoral and peritumoral areas was investigated by immunohistochemistry. OS was compared between high and low Treg groups. The number of intratumoral and peritumoral Foxp3-positive Tregs was significantly higher in OMM, OSCC, PA and MC compared with each normal tissue. There were few Foxp3-positive Tregs in MCT and HCC. With intratumoral Tregs, the OS in the high Treg group was significantly shorter than that in the low Treg group in OMM, OSCC and PA. With peritumoral Tregs, there was no significant difference for OS between the 2 groups in each tumour type. These results suggest that Tregs infiltrate into a variety of canine tumours and the abundance of Tregs are associated with poor prognosis in some solid tumour types.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Lung cancer, Anatomical pathology, T cells, Squamous cell carcinoma, Human cells


Thymidine kinase (TK1) is a biomarker that correlates well with diagnosis and prognosis in certain canine cancers. Canine C-reactive protein (cCRP) is a widely accepted marker of inflammation correlated with increased risk and severity of various diseases. We evaluated serum TK1 and cCRP concentrations in apparently healthy dogs (n = 360). All dogs were followed up for a minimum of 6 months by health questionnaire. All dogs with cancer were identified using a proprietary dual-biomarker algorithm [termed Neoplasia Index (NI)]. Specificity of positive NI is 0.91 and high positive is 0.98. All-cause mortality was 20% in dogs with elevated cCRP and 3% in dogs with low cCRP. The performance of serum TK1 and cCRP as tools for screening for occult cancer is improved when evaluated together. Serum TK1 and cCRP (unified in the NI) are useful in the screening of occult canine cancer. cCRP is useful in screening for other serious diseases.

Concepts: Inflammation, Epidemiology, Cancer, Disease, Infectious disease, C-reactive protein, Thymidine kinase, Thymidine kinase 1


Reported post-surgery 1-year survival rate for oral canine malignant melanoma (cMM) is around 30%; novel treatments are needed as the role of adjuvant chemotherapy is unclear. This prospective study regards adjuvant electrovaccination with human chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan-4 (hCSPG4)-encoded plasmid in 23 dogs with resected II/III-staged CSPG4-positive oral cMM compared with 19 dogs with resected only II/III-staged CSPG4-positive oral cMM. Vaccination resulted in 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-month survival rate of 95.6, 73.9, 47.8 and 30.4%, respectively [median survival time (MST) 684 days, range 78-1694, 8 of 23 dogs alive] and 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-month disease-free interval (DFI) rate of 82.6, 47.8, 26.1 and 17.4%, respectively (DFI 477 days, range 50-1694). Non-vaccinated dogs showed 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-month survival rate of 63.2, 26.3, 15.8 and 5.3%, respectively (MST 200 days, range 75-1507, 1 of 19 dogs alive) and 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-month DFI rate of 52.6, 26.3, 10.5 and 5.3%, respectively (DFI 180 days, range 38-1250). Overall survival and DFI of vaccinated dogs was longer in those <20 kg. In vaccinated and non-vaccinated dogs local recurrence rate was 34.8 and 42%, respectively while lung metastatic rate was 39 and 79%, respectively.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Vaccination, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Melanoma, Resection


The current peer-reviewed veterinary literature contains conflicting information regarding the impact of surgical margin completeness on risk of local tumour recurrence in canine soft tissue sarcoma (STS). This systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to answer the clinical question: “Does obtaining microscopically tumour-free surgical margins reduce risk for local tumour recurrence in canine cutaneous and subcutaneous STS?” A total of 486 citations were screened, 66 of which underwent full-text evaluation, with 10 studies representing 278 STS excisions ultimately included. Cumulatively, 16/164 (9.8%) of completely excised and 38/114 (33.3%) of incompletely excised STS recurred. An overall relative risk of 0.396 (95% confidence interval = 0.248 - 0.632) was calculated for local recurrence in STS excised with complete margins as compared to STS excised with incomplete margins. Risk of bias was judged to be low for all studies in terms of selection bias and detection bias but high for all studies in terms of performance bias and exclusion bias. The results of the present meta-analysis, coupled with the results of individual previous studies, strongly suggest that microscopically complete surgical margins confer a significantly reduced risk for local tumour recurrence in canine STS. Future studies ideally should adhere to standardized conducting and reporting guidelines to reduce systematic bias. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) concentration is a prognostic factor for osteosarcoma in multiple studies, although its biological significance remains incompletely understood. To determine whether gene expression patterns differed in osteosarcoma from patients with differing serum ALP concentrations, microarray analysis was performed on 18 primary osteosarcoma samples and six osteosarcoma cell lines from dogs with normal and increased serum ALP concentration. No differences in gene expression patterns were noted between tumours or cell lines with differing serum ALP concentration using a gene-specific two-sample t-test. Using a more sensitive empirical Bayes procedure, defective in cullin neddylation 1 domain containing 1 (DCUN1D1) was increased in both the tissue and cell lines of the normal ALP group. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), differences in DCUN1D1 expression between the two groups failed to reach significance. The homogeneity of gene expression patterns of osteosarcoma associated differing serum ALP concentrations are consistent with previous studies suggesting serum ALP concentration is not associated with intrinsic differences of osteosarcoma cells.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Cell, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Organism, Normal distribution


Protein kinase A, a cyclic AMP-dependent enzyme, normally exists within mammalian cells; however, in cancer cells, it can leak out and be found in the serum. Extracellular cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (ECPKA) has been determined to increase in the serum of cancer-bearing dogs. However, there have been no reports in the veterinary literature on serum ECPKA autoantibody (ECPKA-Ab) expression in dogs with cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate ECPKA-Ab and C-reactive protein (CRP) as serum biomarkers for cancer in dogs. ECPKA-Ab and CRP levels were detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in serum samples from dogs with malignant tumors (n = 167), benign tumors (n = 42), or non-tumor disease (n = 155) and from healthy control dogs (n = 123). ECPKA-Ab and CRP levels were significantly higher in the dogs with malignant tumors than in those with benign tumors or non-tumor diseases, as well as in the healthy controls (p<0.001, Kruskal-Wallis test). There was a significant positive correlation between the neoplastic index, which was developed using ECPKA-Ab and CRP levels, and the presence of cancer in dogs (p<0.001); the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was estimated to be >0.85 (p<0.001). In conclusion, ECPKA-Ab is a potential serum biomarker for a broad spectrum of cancers. Combined measurement of CRP and ECPKA-Ab levels in serum improves the sensitivity and accuracy of a diagnosis of cancer in dogs.