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  • Author or Editor: Jerome Gagnon x
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Case Description—A 9-year-old spayed female mixed-breed dog was evaluated because of a progressively worsening, nonproductive cough and gagging of 1 year's duration.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination results were unremarkable. A cranial mediastinal mass was identified at the heart base with 3-view thoracic radiography. A CT scan of the thorax revealed an invasive mass surrounding major vessels at the heart base that was not considered surgically resectable. Thoracoscopic biopsy specimens of the cranial mediastinal mass were obtained, and histologic evaluation revealed that the tumor was a chemodectoma.

Treatment and Outcome—On the basis of results of the CT scan, a 3-D conformal radiation therapy plan was generated with computer treatment-planning software. The patient was treated with external beam radiation therapy; a 6-MV linear accelerator was used to deliver a prescribed dose of 57.5 Gy in twenty-three 2.5-Gy fractions. The cough improved following radiation therapy. Prior to treatment, the tumor volume was calculated to be 126.69 cm3. Twenty-five months following radiation therapy, a follow-up CT scan was performed and there was a >50% reduction in tumor volume at that time. Disease progression causing pericardial, pleural, and peritoneal effusion and syncopal episodes occurred 32 months following radiation therapy, which were treated with pericardectomy and additional radiation therapy. The dog was still alive and doing well 42 months following initial radiation treatment.

Clinical Relevance—Conformal radiation therapy provided an additional treatment option for a nonresectable heart base chemodectoma in the dog of this report; conformal radiation therapy was reasonably tolerable and safe.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe response rate, tumor progression, patient survival times, prognostic factors associated with tumor progression and patient survival times, and radiation toxicoses (acute and latent) in dogs treated with curative-intent stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for soft tissue sarcomas (STS).


35 client-owned dogs with STS treated with curative-intent SBRT between October 2011 and May 2017.


Medical records were reviewed to identify dogs that underwent SBRT. Dogs with oral tumors, hemangiosarcoma, or histiocytic sarcoma were excluded. Data collected included patient-, STS-, and SBRT-related information, including follow-up information pertaining to tumor progression and patient survival time for ≥ 6 months, unless tumor progression or patient death occurred sooner.


Objective measurements allowing for evaluation of tumor response were available for 28 dogs, of which 13 (46%) had either a partial (10/28 [36%]) or complete (3/28 [11%]) response. Twenty-four dogs died, and the medians for progression-free survival time, time to progression of disease, overall survival time, and disease-specific survival time were 521, 705, 713, and 1,149 days, respectively. Low histologic grade and extremity locations of STSs were positive prognostic factors for patient survival times. Acute adverse effects were limited to skin, and 1 dog underwent limb amputation because of a nonhealing wound.


Results indicated that SBRT for STS was well tolerated in most dogs and provided local tumor control. Additional studies are needed to determine the best SBRT protocol for treatment of STSs in dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association