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Evaluation of primary re-excision after recent inadequate resection of soft tissue sarcomas in dogs: 41 cases (1999–2004)

Nicholas J. Bacon MA, VetMB1, William S. Dernell DVM, MS, DACVS2, Nicole Ehrhart VMD, MS, DACVS3, Barbara E. Powers DVM, PhD, DACVP4, and Stephen J. Withrow DVM, DACVS, DACVIM5
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  • 1 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 2 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 5 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the efficacy of primary re-excision alone for treatment of soft tissue sarcomas after recent incomplete resection, the frequency and clinical importance of detecting residual tumor in resected scars, and prognostic factors associated with the procedure.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—41 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that had undergone recent incomplete excision of a soft tissue sarcoma at a referring veterinary practice and subsequent re-excision of the scar at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center were reviewed.Owners and referring veterinarians were contacted for follow-up information.Slides from re-excised specimens were reviewed.Dogs that underwent radiation therapy after the re-excision procedure were excluded.

Results—41 dogs met the inclusion criteria, and long-term follow-up information was available for 39 dogs.Median follow-up time was 816 days.Local recurrence of tumor developed in 6 of 39 (15%) dogs, and distant metastasis occurred in 4 of 39 (10%) dogs.Healthy tis sue margins of 0.5 to 3.5 cm were achieved at re-excision. Residual tumor was identified in 9 of 41 (22%) resected scars.No tumor-, patient-, or treatment-related variables were associated with local recurrence except for the presence of liposarcoma or fibrosarcoma or whether fine-needle aspiration had been performed prior to surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—After incomplete resection of soft tissue sarcomas, resection of local tissue should be performed, even if excisable tissue margins appear narrow.A long-term favorable prognosis is achievable without radiation therapy or amputation. The presence of residual tumor in resected scar tissue should not be used to predict local recurrence.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the efficacy of primary re-excision alone for treatment of soft tissue sarcomas after recent incomplete resection, the frequency and clinical importance of detecting residual tumor in resected scars, and prognostic factors associated with the procedure.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—41 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that had undergone recent incomplete excision of a soft tissue sarcoma at a referring veterinary practice and subsequent re-excision of the scar at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center were reviewed.Owners and referring veterinarians were contacted for follow-up information.Slides from re-excised specimens were reviewed.Dogs that underwent radiation therapy after the re-excision procedure were excluded.

Results—41 dogs met the inclusion criteria, and long-term follow-up information was available for 39 dogs.Median follow-up time was 816 days.Local recurrence of tumor developed in 6 of 39 (15%) dogs, and distant metastasis occurred in 4 of 39 (10%) dogs.Healthy tis sue margins of 0.5 to 3.5 cm were achieved at re-excision. Residual tumor was identified in 9 of 41 (22%) resected scars.No tumor-, patient-, or treatment-related variables were associated with local recurrence except for the presence of liposarcoma or fibrosarcoma or whether fine-needle aspiration had been performed prior to surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—After incomplete resection of soft tissue sarcomas, resection of local tissue should be performed, even if excisable tissue margins appear narrow.A long-term favorable prognosis is achievable without radiation therapy or amputation. The presence of residual tumor in resected scar tissue should not be used to predict local recurrence.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Bacon's present address is Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

Address correspondence to Dr. Bacon.