Retrospective Study of Orthovoltage Radiation Therapy for Nasal Tumors in 42 Dogs

December 2, 2008


Megavoltage radiation therapy currently is the standard of care for dogs with nasal tumors. Some studies report that surgery and adjunctive orthovoltage radiation therapy result in longer control of these tumors than does megavoltage radiation therapy alone. This study reports less effective control of nasal tumors in dogs treated with surgery and orthovoltage radiation than previously observed, supporting the superiority of megavoltage radiation therapy for these tumors. In addition, this study suggests 2 new prognostic indicators for dogs with nasal tumors and describes toxicity associated with surgery and orthovoltage therapy. Forty-two dogs with nasal tumors were treated with surgical cytoreduction and 48 Gy orthovoltage radiation therapy administered in twelve 4-Gy fractions. Median survival was 7.4 months. One- and 2-year survival rates were 37% and 17%, respectively. Dogs with facial deformity had shorter survival than those without deformity (P = .005). Dogs with resolution of clinical signs after treatment had longer survival than those with chronic nasal signs (P = .0001). Acute radiation toxicity was moderate to severe for skin and eye and negligible for oral mucosa. Toxicity healed within 1 month after radiation therapy. Late toxicity was mild, but 70% of evaluable dogs experienced persistent ocular signs. Only 39% of dogs achieved a disease-free period.

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