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J Vet Intern Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;21(1):121-6.

CCNU for the treatment of dogs with histiocytic sarcoma.

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  • 1Departments of Clinical Studies, Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, USA. kskorups@ucdavis.edu



Histiocytic sarcoma is an aggressive neoplasm of dendritic cells that carries a grave prognosis. The efficacy of chemotherapy against this disease is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (CCNU) in dogs with incompletely resected or metastatic histiocytic sarcoma, to describe the clinical characteristics of these dogs, and to identify factors affecting prognosis.


Our hypothesis is that CCNU has activity against canine histiocytic sarcoma and can improve survival in dogs with advanced disease.


Included in analysis are dogs diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma who had gross measurable or residual microscopic disease and who received CCNU.


A multi-institutional, retrospective, single-arm cohort study was conducted. Available biopsy samples were tested with an antibody against CD18 when possible to confirm the diagnosis of histiocytic sarcoma.


Fifty-nine dogs were treated at 8 institutions. Twenty-three tumor specimens were confirmed to be CD18 positive. Treatment with CCNU at 60 to 90 mg/m2 resulted in an overall response rate of 46% in the 56 dogs with gross measurable disease. All 3 dogs with minimal residual disease experienced tumor relapse but lived 433 days or more after starting CCNU. The median survival of all 59 dogs was 106 days. Thrombocytopenia (< 100,000 platelets/microL) and hypoalbuminemia were found to be negatively associated with prognosis and were predictive of < 1 month survival.


Results suggest that CCNU is active against canine histiocytic sarcoma and may be useful in the treatment of dogs without negative prognostic factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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