A study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP) has found that lymphadenectomy, along with the resection of the primary tumour and adjuvant medical treatment, improves outcome for dogs with Kiupel high-grade cutaneous mast cell tumours and overt nodal metastasis.

The authors say that the prognosis for dogs with stage II Kiupel high-grade cutaneous mast cell tumours has historically been considered poor.

However, the removal of metastatic regional lymph nodes in more recent research has been associated with a better outcome in canine cutaneous mast cell tumours.

For this study1, dogs with a histological diagnosis of overt lymph node metastasis that underwent lymphadenectomy (n = 31) were compared with those with a cytological diagnosis of regional lymph node metastasis, that did not undergo excision (n 18).

The study was a multi-institutional retrospective cohort study, using electronic medical records from four European institutions to identify dogs for inclusion. 

The study found that dogs with Kiupel high-grade cutaneous mast cell tumours undergoing lymphadenectomy of HN3 lymph nodes as part of their primary surgery in addition to adjuvant medical treatment had a significant improvement in time to progression and survival time compared with those dogs not undergoing the procedure.

Lack of lymphadenectomy was the only variable significantly associated with a higher risk of nodal progression.

Dogs underwent lymphadenectomy of one peripheral lymph node in most cases.

The authors says that a higher number of lymph nodes or the removal of intracavitary lymph nodes might be associated with an increased incidence of postoperative morbidity.

They add that the findings warrant further exploration of the effect of surgical extirpation of metastatic sentinel lymph nodes and the number of lymph nodes removed on outcome in dogs with Kiupel high-grade cutaneous mast cell tumours.

Nicola Di Girolamo, Editor of JSAP said: “It is really encouraging to see collaborations from multiple institutions like the study presented here.

"Including multiple institutions in a retrospective cohort study, does not only ensure a higher sample size, but also ensure a higher generalisability of the results.

"Meaning that it is more likely that the differences observed in this study are also going to be observed at different practices and with different clinicians.”



  1. Chalfon, C, Sabattini, S, Finotello, R, Faroni, E, Guerra, D, Pisoni, L, Ciammaichella, L, Vasconi, ME, Annoni, M, and Marconato, L (2022) Lymphadenectomy improves outcome in dogs with resected Kiupel high-grade cutaneous mast cell tumours and overtly metastatic regional lymph nodes Journal of Small Animal Practice, Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jsap.13525 

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