Virbac, maker of Stelfonta, has released the result of a quick poll of vets at the London Vet Show who said that on average, they had diagnosed 7.03 mast cell tumours (MCTs) in the last year, when earlier research had showed the figure should be more like 12 per year1.

This, says the company, highlights the need for increased awareness of MCTs, which, accounting for up to 21% of skin cancer cases2 in dogs, are the most common form of canine cutaneous neoplasia. 

The incidence of MCTs is highest in dogs aged 6 to 10 years old3,4 with predisposition in some of the UK’s most popular breeds such as Labradors, French Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Golden Retrievers. 

Virbac says that until the launch of Stelfonta, surgical removal of tumours was the standard of care, but surgery can pose challenges for the veterinary surgeon, such as the accessibility of the tumour in order to obtain sufficient margins and anaesthetic risks, particularly in senior and brachycephalic pets.

Apparently, however, 77% of delegates at London Vet Show said they were either likely or very likely to use Stelfonta on their next mast cell tumour case.

To help veterinary professionals and pet owners identify skin masses, Virbac has created a range of resources available at:


  1. KG Marketsense UK& DE Market Assessment & EBC-46 Product Concept Test 2016
  2. Garrett, L.D. (2014) Canine mast cell tumors: diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports, Vol 5.
  3. Shoop SJ, Marlow S, Church DB, et al. Prevalence and risk factors for mast cell tumours in dogs in England. Canine Genet Epidemiol. 2015; 2:1. 
  4. Smiech A, et al. Occurrence and distribution of canine cutaneous mast cell tumour characteristics among predisposed breeds. J Vet Res 2019; 63:141–148.

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.