Multicenter case-control study of risk factors associated with development of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats

Philip H Kass, William L. Spangler, Mattie J. Hendrick, Lawrence D. McGill, D. Glen Esplin, Sally Lester, Margaret Slater, E. Kathryn Meyer, Faith Boucher, Erika M. Peters, Glenna G. Gobar, Thurein Htoo, Kendra Decile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Objective - To determine whether particular vaccine brands, other injectable medications, customary vaccination practices, or various host factors were associated with the formation of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats. Design - Prospective multicenter case-control study. Animals-Cats in the United States and Canada with soft tissue sarcomas or basal cell tumors. Procedure-Veterinarians submitting biopsy specimen from cats with a confirmed diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma or basal cell tumor were contacted for patient medical history. Time window statistical analyses were used in conjunction with various assumptions about case definitions. Results - No single vaccine brand or manufacturer within antigen class was found to be associated with sarcoma formation. Factors related to vaccine administration were also not associated with sarcoma development, with the possible exception of vaccine temperature prior to injection. Two injectable medications (long-acting penicillin and methyl prednisolone acetate) were administered to case cats more frequently than to control cats. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Findings do not support the hypotheses that specific brands or types of vaccine within antigen class, vaccine practices such as reuse of syringes, concomitant viral infection, history of trauma, or residence either increase or decrease the risk of vaccine-associated sarcoma formation in cats. There was evidence to suggest that certain long-acting injectable medications may also be associated with sarcoma formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1292
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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