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Cancer Cell Int. 2013 Aug 9;13:79. doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-13-79. eCollection 2013.

Diagnosis, classification and grading of canine mammary tumours as a model to study human breast cancer: an Clinico-Cytohistopathological study with environmental factors influencing public health and medicine.

Author information

1
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.
2
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.
3
Semnan University of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Semnan, Iran.
4
MD, Graduate Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad, Iran.
5
MD, Graduate Paraveterinary Faculty of Ilam, University of Ilam, Ilam, Iran.
6
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The human "Elston and Ellis grading method" was utilized in dogs with mammary tumor to examine its relation to prognosis in this species, based on a 2-year follow-up period. Although cytopathology is widely used for early diagnosis of human neoplasms, it is not commonly performed in veterinary medicine. Our objectives in this study were to identify cytopathology criteria of malignancy for canine mammary tumors and the frequency of different types of mammary lesions and their relationship with histologic grade was investigated. Another aim of this study was to differentiate the simple and adenocarcinoma tumors from the complex or mixed tumor described by Elston and Ellis grading method.

METHODS:

The study was performed in 15 pure or mixed-breed female dogs submitted to surgical resections of mammary tumours. The mammary tumours were excised by simple mastectomy or regional mastectomy, with or without the superficial inguinal lymph nodes. Female dogs were mainly terriers (9 dogs) or mixed (3 dogs), the 3 other animals were a German shepherd, Dachshund and Pekingese. Before surgical excision of the tumour, FNAC was performed using a 0.6 mm diameter needle attached to a 10 ml syringe held in a standard metal syringe holder. The cytological sample was smeared onto a glass slide and either air-dried for May-Grünwald-stain, or ethanol-fixed for Papanicolaou stain and masses were surgically removed, the tumours were grossly examined and tissue samples were fixed in 10%-buffered-formalin and embedded in paraffin. Sections 4 μm thick were obtained from each sample and H&E stained.

RESULTS:

We obtained a correct cytohistological correlation in 14/15 cases (93.3%) when all cytopathological examinations were considered. Of the 15 cases examined, 2(13.3%) had well-differentiated (grade I), 6(40%) had moderately differentiated (grade II) and 7(46.7%) had poorly differentiated (grade III) tumours. Classification of all canine mammary gland lesions revealed 13(86.7%) malignant and 2(13.3%) benign tumors. The histological examination showed that the most common tumor types of mammary glands in bitches were: complex carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, malignant mixed tumour, benign mixed tumour, simple carcinoma- (5/15; 33.3%), (3/15; 20%), (3/15; 20%) and (2/15;13.3%), respectively. Simple carcinoma and cystic hyperplasia were less common - (1/15; 6.7%), and (1/15; 6.7%), respectively. Moreover, the most often tumors occur in inguinal mammary (60%) and abdominal (27%) glands.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results demonstrate that, because of the similarity of the cytohistopathological findings in the human and canine mammary gland tumours, it is possible to use the same cytopathological criteria applied in human pathology for the diagnosis of canine mammary gland tumours. Furthemoer, routine use of this human grading method would help the clinician to make a more accurate prognosis in the interests of post-surgical management in dogs with mammary carcinomas. Furthermore, this research will allow a more discriminating classification of mammary tumors and probably has a bearing on cytohistopathology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and prognosis. The most often tumors occur in inguinal mammary (60%) and abdominal (27%) glands. This interesting regional difference may be due to a) the duration of the growth before the diagnosis; b) the age of the dogs; and c) high prevelance of unspayed animals. Moreover, the most common type of tumor was complex carcinoma - 33.3% (5 cases).

KEYWORDS:

Cytohistopathology; Dog; Grading of tumours; Mammary glands; Tumour

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