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J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2013 Nov-Dec;49(6):370-7. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5954. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

VAC protocol for treatment of dogs with stage III hemangiosarcoma.

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Coral Springs Animal Hospital, Coral Springs, FL.


Hemangiosarcomas (HSAs) are aggressive tumors with a high rate of metastasis. Clinical stage has been considered a negative prognostic factor for survival. The study authors hypothesized that the median survival time (MST) of dogs with metastatic (stage III) HSA treated with a vincristine, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (VAC) chemotherapy protocol would not be different than those with stage I/II HSA. Sixty-seven dogs with HSA in different anatomic locations were evaluated retrospectively. All dogs received the VAC protocol as an adjuvant to surgery (n = 50), neoadjuvant (n = 3), or as the sole treatment modality (n = 14). There was no significant difference (P = 0.97) between the MST of dogs with stage III and stage I/II HSA. For dogs presenting with splenic HSA alone, there was no significant difference between the MST of dogs with stage III and stage I/II disease (P = 0.12). The overall response rate (complete response [CR] and partial response [PR]) was 86%). No unacceptable toxicities were observed. Dogs with stage III HSA treated with the VAC protocol have a similar prognosis to dogs with stage I/II HSA. Dogs with HSA and evidence of metastases at the time of diagnosis should not be denied treatment.

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