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How mandatory are tumour free excision margins in canine cutaneous mast cell tumours?
Canine cutaneous mast cell tumours are often highly malignant. If they are surgically removed, there is a strong recommendation to make sure the excision margins are tumour-free. A group from the University of Indiana tried to determine whether there is a difference in prognosis in tumor-free versus non tumour-free excision margins. With surprising results!

The purpose of this study was to determine if the presence of histopathologically tumor-free versus nontumor-free margins was prognostic for relapse or tumor-related death in dogs following surgical excision of single or multiple cutaneous mast cell tumors confined to the skin without evidence of metastasis to lymph nodes or other noncutaneous sites.

Differences in tumor-related death or frequency of relapse between the two groups were not significant. Failure to achieve histopathological tumor-free margins frequently did not lead to local relapse.

All tumor-related deaths occurred following local relapse. The lack of statistical support for an association between prognosis and histopathological tumor-free versus nontumor-free margins may be a result of small sample size.

Source: Michels GM, Knapp DW, DeNicola DB, Glickman N, Bonney P. (2002): Prognosis following surgical excision of canine cutaneous mast cell tumors with histopathologically tumor-free versus nontumor-free margins: a retrospective study of 31 cases. In: J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2002 Sep-Oct;38(5):458-66



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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

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