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Primary Irradiation of Canine Intracranial Masses

Spugnini E.P., Thrall D.E., Price G.S., et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound, 2000. 41(4): p.377-80.

Twenty-nine dogs received primary radiation therapy for intracranial lesions and clinical signs suggestive of neoplasia. Presumptive diagnosis and tumor categorization was based on computed tomographic or magnetic resonance images. Meningioma was the most likely tumor type in 22 dogs and glioma or choroid plexus tumors were tentatively identified in 4 and 3 dogs, respectively. Cobalt-60 radiation was delivered in 3 Gy fractions on a daily, Monday-through-Friday basis for a total dose of 48 Gy (16 fractions) in 28 dogs; one dog received 54 Gy. Two of 29 dogs died during treatment of signs suggestive of progressive tumor growth but were included in the overall evaluation of response to treatment. Median overall survival was 250 days (range 21-804). Mild acute radiation effects on normal tissue developed and did not influence outcome in any dog. Late radiation effects could not be evaluated in this study. No significant predictive indicators were identified from the clinical or imaging data. Radiation therapy is superior to medical treatment of brain tumors in dogs with steroids, is useful for tumors that are not currently operable and may be preferable to surgical resection in dogs if the mass appears infiltrative. However, 22/29 (76%) dogs died of recurrent progressive neuropathy suggestive of tumor regrowth or progression. Thus, alternative methods for delivery of radiation to dogs with brain tumors or novel combinations of therapy should continue to undergo evaluation.