Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of postoperative beta-irradiation with strontium-90 as an adjunctive treatment to superficial keratectomy and permanent bulbar conjunctival graft for removal of equine corneolimbal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), in decreasing recurrence rate. Study: The retrospective case study included 38 horses diagnosed and treated for SCC of the eye that involved the limbus and/or cornea. The patients were treated between 1990 and 2002, with strontium-90 irradiation immediately after corneal and conjunctival graft surgery. Recurrence was defined as the postoperative and postirradiation regrowth of SCC in the same site and globe that was previously treated. Results: The Appaloosa was the most commonly represented breed and horses that had more than one base coat color represented the majority of the cases (53%). The coat colors of white, chestnut/sorrel and gray were the most commonly represented colors of the horses treated. Eight horses (21%) could not be assessed for tumor recurrence due to lack of two or more post-treatment examinations, and another horse was enucleated 6 days postoperatively due to progressive corneal ulceration. Twenty-four horses (63% of the entire study population; 83% of the followed cases) had a mean ± SD of 1754 ± 1319 days without tumor recurrence, ranging from 14 days to 5110 days. Five horses (13% of the entire study population; 17% of the assessed horses) had tumor recurrence at a mean ± SD of 449 ± 339 days with a range of 29 days to 900 days. For the five recurrences, treatment included local excision (n = 1), enucleation (n = 2), and additional strontium-90 therapy (n = 3). Conclusions: The combination of superficial keratectomy, β-irradiation and permanent bulbar conjunctival grafts for limbal, corneal or corneolimbal SCC in horses is effective in at least 83% of the horses. Recurrence occurred in about 17% of the horses. Multiple biannual re-examinations are recommended to observe for tumor recurrence.
- Squamous cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas