An update on diagnosing and treating primary lung tumors - Veterinary Medicine
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An update on diagnosing and treating primary lung tumors
The incidence of this rare cancer in dogs and cats may be on the rise. Find out how to spot a primary lung tumor and what new forms of therapy may soon be at your disposal.



Primary lung tumors are uncommon in dogs and rare in cats. Most patients will not present with overt clinical signs of respiratory distress, but more commonly primary lung tumors will be incidental findings or will be the cause of nonspecific signs of illness, including weight loss and lethargy. Several predictive factors including tumor histologic subtype, size, and lymph node involvement have been demonstrated to aid in patient prognostication. Conventional therapeutic recommendations should include surgical resection of the primary tumor and draining lymph nodes, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. In the near future, specialized local therapies such as IMRT and RFA may provide alternatives to surgery, and aerosolized chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with systemic drug administration to enhance overall anticancer effects. The net effect of these newer therapeutic options would be to provide longer disease-free intervals and survival times in dogs and cats with primary lung tumors.

Kerry C. Rissetto, DVM*
Pamela W. Lucas, DVM
Timothy M. Fan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (small animal internal medicine, oncology)
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61802-4714

*Current address: Department of Veterinary, Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211


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