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Vet Pathol. 2004 Jul;41(4):371-7.

The use of KIT and tryptase expression patterns as prognostic tools for canine cutaneous mast cell tumors.

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Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA.

Erratum in

  • Vet Pathol. 2004 Sep;41(5):543.


Cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCTs) are one of the most common tumors in dogs. Currently, prognostic and therapeutic determinations for MCTs are primarily based on the histologic grade of the tumor, but a vast majority of MCTs are of an intermediate grade, and the prognostic relevance is highly questioned. A more detailed prognostic evaluation, especially of grade 2 canine MCTs, is greatly needed. To evaluate the prognostic significance of KIT and tryptase expression patterns in canine cutaneous MCTs, we studied 100 cutaneous MCTs from 100 dogs that had been treated with surgery only. The total survival and disease-free survival time and the time to local or distant recurrence of MCTs were recorded for all dogs. Using immunohistochemistry, 98 of these MCTs were stained with anti-KIT and antitryptase antibodies. Three KIT- and three tryptase-staining patterns were identified. The KIT-staining patterns were identified as 1) membrane-associated staining, 2) focal to stippled cytoplasmic staining with decreased membrane-associated staining, and 3) diffuse cytoplasmic staining. The tryptase-staining patterns were identified as 1) diffuse cytoplasmic staining, 2) stippled cytoplasmic staining, and 3) little to no cytoplasmic staining. Based on univariate and multivariate survival analysis, increased cytoplasmic KIT staining was significantly associated with an increased rate of local recurrence and a decreased survival rate. The tryptase-staining patterns were not significantly associated with any survival parameter. On the basis of these results, we propose a new prognostic classification of canine cutaneous MCTs, according to their KIT-staining pattern, that can be used for the routine prognostic evaluation of canine cutaneous MCTs.

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