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Vet Comp Oncol. 2006 Jun;4(2):63-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5810.2006.00090.x.

Histiocytic sarcomas in flat-coated retrievers: a summary of 37 cases (November 1998-March 2005).

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Section of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology of the Vetsuisse, Faculty University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.


Thirty-seven cases of histiocytic-like sarcomas (HLSs) in flat-coated retriever dogs were evaluated retrospectively. This tumour accounted for 36% of the malignant tumours seen in this breed during the study period. The median age at presentation was 8.2 years. Thirty-four dogs presented with a swelling or mass in a muscle group or surrounding a joint. The remaining three presented for rib (1), cutaneous (1) or primary splenic origin (1). A high rate of metastasis to local lymph nodes (45%), thorax (20%) and abdominal organs (20% confirmed) was seen. Overall metastastic rate by the time of death was 70%. The median survival for all dogs was 123 days. The most significant prognostic indicator was presence of distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis with median survival of 68 or 200 days, with or without metastasis, respectively. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy significantly improved survival. Dogs given chemotherapy survived a median of 185 versus 34 days for dogs that were not (P = 0.0008). Dogs treated with radiation survived a median of 182 versus 60 days for those that were not (P = 0.0282). Dogs receiving only palliative therapy survived a median of 17 versus 167 days in dogs receiving any kind of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or combinations. A set protocol of radiation and CCNU (RTCCNU) induced minimal toxicity and provided a median survival of 208 versus 68 days for all other dogs. While this tumour carries a poor long-term prognosis in flat-coated retrievers, it is reasonable to treat these dogs for palliation of signs and extension of life.

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