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Tonsillar carcinoma in dogs: Treatment outcome and potential prognostic factors in 123 cases

Treggiari, Elisabetta; Pellin, MacKenzie A.; Romanelli, Giorgio; Maresca, Gianluca; Gramer, Irina; Yale, Andrew D.; Pecceu, Evi; Pignanelli, Matteo; Borrego, Juan; Purzycka, Katarzyna; Berlato, Davide


Elisabetta Treggiari

MacKenzie A. Pellin

Giorgio Romanelli

Gianluca Maresca

Irina Gramer

Andrew D. Yale

Evi Pecceu

Matteo Pignanelli

Juan Borrego

Katarzyna Purzycka

Davide Berlato


Hypothesis/Objectives: Assess treatment outcome and potential prognostic factors in a population of dogs with cytological or histopathological diagnosis of tonsillar carcinoma.

Animals: A total of 123 client-owned dogs with diagnosis of tonsillar carcinoma confirmed by cytology or histopathology.

Methods: Retrospective, multi-institutional study. Medical records of 12 institutions were reviewed from 2012 to 2021.

Results: Treatment included surgery, chemotherapy (conventional, tyrosine kinase inhibitors or metronomic chemotherapy), radiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or a combination of these. Surgery was performed in 68 cases, chemotherapy was administered in association with NSAIDs in 64 cases, NSAIDs were used alone in 14 cases and in association with surgery in 21 cases, whereas radiotherapy was used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy in 20 cases. Overall survival time (OST) was 126 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 88-164). Significantly longer survival (P < .001) was seen in dogs without evidence of metastatic disease (median survival time, 381 days; 95% CI, 116-646). Other significant positive prognostic factors included absence of clinicals signs at presentation, surgery (tonsillectomy), use of adjuvant chemotherapy and use of NSAIDs.

Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Asymptomatic dogs, those treated with surgery, those that received adjuvant chemotherapy, and those that received NSAIDs may have a better prognosis than previously expected, but overall survival remains short for dogs with tonsillar carcinoma.


Treggiari, E., Pellin, M. A., Romanelli, G., Maresca, G., Gramer, I., Yale, A. D., …Berlato, D. (in press). Tonsillar carcinoma in dogs: Treatment outcome and potential prognostic factors in 123 cases. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 16, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2023
Journal Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Print ISSN 0891-6640
Electronic ISSN 1939-1676
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords General Veterinary, Oncology, Veterinary Oncology, Carcinoma
Additional Information Received: 2022-04-10; Accepted: 2022-12-16; Published: 2023-01-27


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