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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Evaluation of prognostic markers for canine mast cell tumors treated with vinblastine and prednisone

Joshua D Webster12, Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan134, Douglas H Thamm5, Elizabeth Hamilton1 and Matti Kiupel12*

Author Affiliations

1 Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

2 Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

4 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

5 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

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BMC Veterinary Research 2008, 4:32  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-4-32

Published: 13 August 2008

Abstract

Background

Canine cutaneous mast cell tumor (MCT) is a common neoplastic disease associated with a variable biologic behavior. Surgery remains the primary treatment for canine MCT; however, radiation therapy (RT) and chemotherapy are commonly used to treat aggressive MCT. The goals of this study were to evaluate the prognostic utility of histologic grade, c-KIT mutations, KIT staining patterns, and the proliferation markers Ki67 and AgNORs in dogs postoperatively treated with vinblastine and prednisone +/- RT, and to compare the outcome of dogs treated with post-operative chemotherapy +/- RT to that of a prognostically matched group treated with surgery alone. Associations between prognostic markers and survival were evaluated. Disease-free intervals (DFI) and overall survival times (OS) of dogs with similar pretreatment prognostic indices postoperatively treated with chemotherapy were compared to dogs treated with surgery alone.

Results

Histologic grade 3 MCTs, MCTs with c-KIT mutations, MCTs with increased cytoplasmic KIT, and MCTs with increased Ki67 and AgNOR values were associated with decreased DFI and OS. Dogs with histologic grade 3 MCT had significantly increased DFI and OS when treated with chemotherapy vs. surgery alone. Although not statistically significant due to small sample sizes, MCTs with c-KIT mutations had increased DFI and OS when treated with chemotherapy vs. surgery alone.

Conclusion and clinical importance

This study confirms the prognostic value of histologic grade, c-KIT mutations, KIT staining patterns, and proliferation analyses for canine MCT. Additionally, the results of this study further define the benefit of postoperative vinblastine and prednisone for histologic grade 3 MCTs.