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Chemotherapy plus half-body radiation therapy for canine lymphoma
The combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy is commonly used in human medicine: The radiotherapy mainly is thought to decrease the size of the primary tumor, chemotherapy mainly acts against metastases. It is not a common combination in one of the most common canine malignant tumors, malignant lymphoma. Is it an indication for this therapy? A very interesting study including nearly 100 dogs.

A protocol of induction chemotherapy followed by half-body radiation therapy for treatment of lymphoma was used in 94 dogs.
Seventy-three (78%) dogs achieved complete remission.
Substage (P = .011) and phenotype (P = .015) were identified as predictors of complete remission rate.

Of these, 52 dogs received half-body irradiation. Cranial and caudal halves received a total dose of 8.0 Gy, given in 2 fractions of 4.0 Gy on consecutive days with cobalt-60 photons and a 3-week interval between halves.

Median 1st remission for these dogs was 311 days. Anemia was identified as the only predictor for length of 1st remission (P = .024).

Toxicoses after half-body irradiation generally were mild and infrequent and included myelosuppression and gastrointestinal signs.

Thirty-one dogs relapsed and 20 resumed treatment with induction followed by maintenance chemotherapy.

Seventeen (85%) dogs achieved a 2nd complete remission.

Median overall remission for all 52 dogs was 486 days.

Results of this study suggest that half-body radiation therapy after induction chemotherapy is well tolerated and might increase remission duration compared with conventional protocols that use chemotherapy alone, but this increase might not be long enough to be clinically relevant or to justify application of the method described herein.



Source: Williams LE, Johnson JL, Hauck ML, Ruslander DM, Price GS, Thrall DE. (2004): Chemotherapy followed by half-body radiation therapy for canine lymphoma. In: J Vet Intern Med. 2004 Sep-Oct;18(5):703-9.




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