Biological behavior of tumors and associated retroviremia in cats inoculated with Snyder-Theilen fibrosarcoma virus and the phenomenon of tumor recurrence after primary regression

Niels C Pedersen, L. Johnson, G. H. Theilen

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6 Scopus citations


The fate of tumors and associated retroviremia was studied in 111 cats infected with the Snyder-Theilen strain of feline sarcoma virus (FeSV). Tumors appeared at the site of inoculation within 7 to 10 days. A retroviremia, due mainly to the associated feline leukemia virus helper virus (FeLV-helper), developed at the same time as tumors. Of the cats, 44 developed progressively growing tumors and therefore had to be killed, and 67 developed tumors that regressed. There was a strong correlation between the persistence of the accompanying retroviremia and the growth of the tumors. The 44 cats with progressively growing fibrosarcomas remained retroviremic until death. Conversely, 53 of the 67 cats with solitary, regressing tumors were only transiently retroviremic. Tumor regression in these cats paralleled the disappearance of retrovirus from the blood. The fate of tumors and retroviremia was not always the same, however. Twelve cats remained persistently retroviremic after all signs of gross tumors disappeared. Two other kittens became nonviremic within 20 days after inoculation, yet tumors continued to grow and even metastasize for another 3 to 5 weeks before regressing. Fibrosarcomas recurred 3 weeks to 8 months later in 8 of 12 persistently retroviremic cats with regressed tumors. Although the blood and bone marrow from these cats contained predominantly FeLV-helper, tumor cells yielded both FeSV and FeLV-helper. Of 53 animals, 3 developed recurrent fibrosarcomas 5 weeks to 8 months after all signs of tumors and retroviremia had disappeared. Cells cultured from these tumors appeared initially like normal fibroblasts and were virus nonproducers. After one to three passages in culture, however, cells became malignantly transformed and replicated both FeSV and FeLV-helper. Cultures of the bone marrow from these and other nonviremic cats with regressed tumors yielded only FeLV-helper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-636
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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