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Hemangiosarcoma


Little Bo Boop
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Seems like we are losing so many of our dogs to this terrible disease here lately (I've lost two dogs) I was at a trial this weekend, and was talking to a vet friend of mine, and asked her if there was any kind of test or genetic marker for this cancer, she had not heard of one, so I did a little research and found this link. It's been suggested that this cancer might be hereditary, and I'll be honest with you, my Mike dog is related to my Bob who died of HSA, and the thought of it happening to Mikey terrifies me. By the time a dog shows symptoms, it's too late...anyway thought this was interesting, maybe some of the vets and or other folks on here that understand all the medico lingo ;-) can tell me what you think about this...

 

 

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/77768681/Early-Detection-Of-Hemangiosarcoma-And-Angiosarcoma---Patent-7910315

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This patent is an invention, but it isn't a commercial product yet. The method for early detection of hemangiosarcomas in dogs would use a blood sample, label various cell-surface proteins with antibodies, and the use flow cytometry to measure the proportions of labeled cells.

 

To become something that vets would have available for use, the invention would have to be licensed so that there would be the financial resources available for development of the invention into a standardized, commercial lab test.

 

The university's offer for license has this to say:

 

OVERVIEW

Of the approximately 65 million domestic dogs in the United States, between 1.5 and 2.5 million will contract canine hemangiosarcoma, an incurable tumor of the cells that line blood vessels. Death usually results from acute internal hemorrhage following rupture of the tumor. Treatment is ineffective because the disease is diagnosed at a late stage when tumors are resistant to chemotherapy, and no method of early diagnosis currently exists.

 

THE INVENTION

UW-Madison researchers have developed a simple, sensitive and specific test for detecting hemangiosarcoma in its early stages in dogs at risk. The inventors discovered that the “primitive” endothelial cells associated with hemangiosarcoma or angiosarcoma, a similar tumor that affects humans, express a specific combination of proteins on their surface. To diagnose hemangiosarcoma or angiosarcoma, multiparameter flow cytometry can be used to detect cells that express these proteins.

 

APPLICATIONS

• Early detction of hemangiosarcoma and related cancers

 

KEY BENEFITS

• Provides a method of detecting hemangiosarcoma at an early stage, when treatments may be more effective

• Enables early diagnosis of angiosarcoma in people at high risk

• Minimally invasive—diagnosis is made using a blood sample rather than a biopsy

• Capable of distinguishing between hemangiosarcoma/angiosarcoma and benign

proliferative lesions, such as hemangioma or hematoma

• Can distinguish between hemangiosarcoma/angiosarcoma and leukemia/lymphoma,

allowing treatments to be tailored to the particular disease

 

I don't know enough about cancers to know if early detection would actually render this cancer curable.

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Yes, I understand these folks are just applying for a patent, but I would be interested in knowing if what they are purposing makes sense or is feasible....and then of course, so you find out they test positive for the cancer...then what? Although, I understand if you are able to detect the cancer/tumor before it ruptures, and they can remove it, the dogs have a better survival rate. In most cases it seems the first sign of trouble is when a dog is bleeding out, after the tumor has ruptured, and by then it's spread the cancer all throughout the system...I guess it would all just depend on how 'early' the detection actually was.

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For what it's worth, here's the section on hemangiosarcoma from Laura Sanborn's Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs:

 

Hemangiosarcoma is a common cancer in dogs. It is a major cause of death in some breeds, such as Salukis, French Bulldogs, Irish Water Spaniels, Flat Coated Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Afghan Hounds, English Setters, Scottish Terriers, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and German Shepherd Dogs. In an aged-matched case controlled study, spayed females were found to have a 2.2 times higher risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma compared to intact females.

 

A retrospective study of cardiac hemangiosarcoma risk factors found a >5 times greater risk in spayed female dogs [emphasis mine, sez Luisa] compared to intact female dogs and a 1.6 times higher risk in neutered male dogs compared to intact male dogs. The authors suggest a protective effect of sex hormones against hemangiosarcoma, especially in females.

 

In breeds where hermangiosarcoma is an important cause of death, the increased risk associated with spay/neuter is likely one that should factor into decisions on whether or when to sterilize a dog.

The footnote links disappeared in my cut-and-paste -- here are the two studies cited.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/3192450

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/10225598

 

And yeah, hereditary: "According to the Golden Retriever Health Study published in 2000, the estimated lifetime risk of hemangiosarcoma in this breed is 1 in 5." Source. [Good article, there.]

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For what it's worth, here's the section on hemangiosarcoma from Laura Sanborn's Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs:

 

 

The footnote links disappeared in my cut-and-paste -- here are the two studies cited.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/3192450

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/10225598

 

And yeah, hereditary: "According to the Golden Retriever Health Study published in 2000, the estimated lifetime risk of hemangiosarcoma in this breed is 1 in 5." Source. [Good article, there.]

 

Two things to keep in mind:

 

first, when reading things like "five times higher or "2.2 times higher risk" is "5 x higher than what?". If the incidence rate is low, a 5% increase may not mean much so is not a significant risk for spaying a bitch. The 20% incidence rate in Golden Retrievers that was cited in this article would include spayed females. In other breeds, the risk would be lower. Also, one needs to look at age of onset. Ten years is old for a German Shepherd dog compared to Border Collies who live typically 14 years. Just like in humans, cancer is a disease of older dogs and it seems that the incidence rate is way higher in working Border Collies than other breeds most likely because healthy dogs don't die of other things like heart disease, diabetes etc..

 

Someone asked if the early detection test would allow for treatment or cure. The answer is no, at least not at this time. Part of the problem with hemagiosarcome IS that it rarely presents any symptoms until late in the disease but there is no treatment, so early detection at this time is of little value.

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But is the reason that there is no treatment because the cancer is too far advanced by the time it is detected? You can't treat something that has already metastasized to several other areas of the body.

 

If a blood test could detect abnormal cells, an ultrasound could show the beginnings of an internal tumor before symptoms present perhaps giving an opportunity to remove the primary tumor early on if it is located on the spleen.

 

Not curative I know, but could give the dog several more good months.

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Cancer is now considered a disease of late middle age. I see GSDs that live to be 15+ years old, if HD, DM or other genetic conditions that affect their ability to walk don't get them first. Just because 8 or 10 is considered old for the breed, it doesn't mean that they are old.

 

It's actually not common to see malignant cancers in medium/large breed dogs past the age of 12. Most I see with cacner are closer to 6 to 10 years of age. Just look at the cancer curves in humans. If you make it past your 70s without getting cancer, your chances of ever having it go way down.

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Like so many other dogs on the Board, Sara's hemangio was diagnosed too late - she already had significant internal bleeding. However, her daughter, Chrissy, who belongs to my vet, has survived 2 bouts with hemangio - spleen, age 8 and liver, age 12. She'll be 16 in November and has normal old age issues but no reoccurrence so far of the cancer.

 

My vet concurs with Liz that most malignant cancer in border collies occurs during middle age. Katie was 8 and Meg 10 when they were diagnosed but Sara ws diagnosed with hepatacellular carcinoma at age 14 (which she survived) and hemangio at 17.

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From what i've read about hemangio it can be stalled at least in some cases by removing the primary tumor. You just don't know until it's too late most of the time. Missy's primary tumor was on her spleen. She was in excellant health for a 12 yo dog before the cancer. but by the time I could feel the tumor the cancer had already spread. If it could have been detected earlier it is possible that surgery could have made a difference. If they came up with a test for early detection i would use it with my dogs in the future

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