Canine osteosarcoma treatment

Canine osteosarcoma treatment

A novel therapeutic approach for canine osteosarcoma treatment consists of sparing the limb in affected dogs. Instead of amputation, the affected bone is resected and an allograft from a cadavar is used to replace the neoplastic bone; novel biomaterials are also currently being investigated for this purpose. This canine osteosarcoma treatment means that dogs are also treated with intravenous cisplatin, carboplatin, or doxorubicin and, in general, have almost limb function. The main complication is the development of osteomyelitis in the allograft; if that occurs, the limb frequently needs to be amputated. Survival times in animals undergoing this dog osteosarcoma treatment are comparable to those in dogs that undergo amputation plus chemotherapy, the added benefit to the owners of having a four-legged pet.

If owners are reluctant to allow the clinician to amputate te limb, local radiotherapy plus cisplatin, carboplatin, or doxorubicin may be of some benefit. However, in our limited experience, most dogs are eventually euthanized within 3 to 4 months of the initial diagnosis because of the development of pathologic fractures (i.e., after radiotherapy, the tumor is not as painful, therefore the dog regains normal use of the limb and fractures the area), osteomyelitis, or metastasic lesions.

A more conventional canine osteosarcoma treatment is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy apparently modifies the biologic behavior of the tumor, resulting in a higher prevalence of bone metastases and a lower prevalence of pulmonary metastases. Moreover, the doubling time (growth rate) of metastatic lesions appears to be longer than in untreated dogs. Therefore, surgical removal of the metastatic nodules (metastasectomy) followed by additional cisplatin or carboplatin therapy may be recommended for a dog that has been treated with chemotherapy after amputation of the limb and in which one to three pulmonary metastatic lesions are detected.

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