Just Ask the Expert: How do you treat cats with intestinal lymphoma?
Dr. Fan welcomes oncology questions from veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
Please outline the recommended current chemotherapy protocol for feline intestinal lymphoma and expected survival times.
Fred Metzger, DVM, DABVP
Treatment of feline intestinal lymphoma requires instituting systemic chemotherapy, with or without surgical resection of focal intestinal lesions. The choice of systemic chemotherapy protocols is dictated by the histologic grade (low, intermediate, or high).
Low-grade intestinal lymphoma can be managed with long-term oral therapies composed of chlorambucil (4 mg/m2 orally every other day) and prednisone or prednisolone (1 mg/kg orally daily). The prognosis for cats with low-grade intestinal lymphoma can be relatively good; many cats live for years after diagnosis.
Unlike cats with low-grade variants that are easier to manage, most cats have intermediate- or high-grade lymphomas; these lymphomas are more difficult to manage for sustained durations. In general, conventional cytotoxic agents such as l-asparaginase, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin are effective in reducing tumor burden in cats with intestinal lymphoma. Cats with intermediate- or high-grade lymphoma treated with a multiagent chemotherapy protocol, such as CHOP (cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin [doxorubicin], Oncovin [vincristine], and prednisolone), may achieve response rates of 50% to 70%, and survival times range from seven to 10 months.
Timothy M. Fan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (small animal internal medicine, oncology)
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2. Wilson HM. Feline alimentary lymphoma: demystifying the enigma. Top Companion Anim Med 2008;23(4):177-184.