Efficacy of systemic adjuvant therapies administered to dogs after excision of oral malignant melanomas: 151 cases (2001-2012)

Sarah E. Boston, Xiaomin Lu, William T Culp, Vincenzo Montinaro, Giorgio Romanelli, Robert M. Dudley, Julius M. Liptak, Lisa A. Mestrinho, Paolo Buracco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective-To determine prognostic factors for and compare outcome among dogs with oral malignant melanoma following excision with or without various systemic adjuvant therapies. Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-151 dogs with naturally occurring oral malignant melanomas treated by excision with or without adjuvant therapies from 2001 to 2012. Procedures-Case accrual was solicited from Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology members via an email list service. Information collected from case records included signalment, tumor staging, tumor characteristics, type of surgical excision, histologic diagnosis, adjuvant therapy, and survival time. Results-The overall median survival time was 346 days. Results of multivariate analysis indicated that tumor size, patient age, and intralesional excision (vs marginal, wide, or radical excision) were considered poor prognostic indicators. All other demographic and clinical variables were not significantly associated with survival time after adjusting for the aforementioned 3 variables. A clear survival benefit was not evident with any systemic adjuvant therapy, including vaccination against melanoma or chemotherapy; however, the number of dogs in each treatment group was small. Ninety-eight dogs received no postoperative adjuvant therapy, and there was no difference in survival time between dogs that did (335 days) and did not (352 days) receive systemic adjuvant therapy. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-For dogs with oral malignant melanoma, increasing tumor size and age were negative prognostic factors. Complete excision of all macroscopic tumor burden improved survival time. Long-term survival was possible following surgery alone. Although systemic adjuvant therapy was not found to improve survival time, this could have been due to type II error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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