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Multicenter case-control study of risk factors associated with development of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats

Philip H. Kass DVM, PhD, DACVPM1, William L. Spangler DVM, PhD, DACVP2, Mattie J. Hendrick VMD, DACVP3, Lawrence D. McGill DVM, PhD, DACVP4, D. Glen Esplin DVM, PhD, DACVP5, Sally Lester DVM, MVSc, DACVP6, Margaret Slater DVM, PhD7, E. Kathryn Meyer VMD8, Faith Boucher PhD9, Erika M. Peters BS10, Glenna G. Gobar DVM, MPVM, MS11, Thurein Htoo MS12, and Kendra Decile DVM13
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  • 1 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 IDEXX-VS, 2825 KOVR Dr, Sacramento, CA 95605.
  • | 3 Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 4 ARUP Inc, 500 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.
  • | 5 ARUP Inc, 500 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.
  • | 6 Central Laboratory for Veterinarians, 5645-199th St, Langley, BC, Canada V3A 1H9.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 8 Veterinary Behavior Clinic, 9039 Gaither Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.
  • | 9 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 10 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 11 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 12 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 13 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether particular vaccine brands, other injectable medications, customary vaccination practices, or various host factors were associated with the formation of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats.

Design—Prospective multicenter case-control study.

Animals—Cats in the United States and Canada with soft tissue sarcomas or basal cell tumors.

Procedure—Veterinarians submitting biopsy specimens from cats with a confirmed diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma or basal cell tumor were contacted for patient medical history. Time window statistical analyses were used in conjunction with various assumptions about case definitions.

Results—No single vaccine brand or manufacturer within antigen class was found to be associated with sarcoma formation. Factors related to vaccine administration were also not associated with sarcoma development, with the possible exception of vaccine temperature prior to injection. Two injectable medications (long-acting penicillin and methyl prednisolone acetate) were administered to case cats more frequently than to control cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings do not support the hypotheses that specific brands or types of vaccine within antigen class, vaccine practices such as reuse of syringes, concomitant viral infection, history of trauma, or residence either increase or decrease the risk of vaccineassociated sarcoma formation in cats. There was evidence to suggest that certain long-acting injectable medications may also be associated with sarcoma formation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1283–1292)