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Flashcards in Introduction to veterinary oncology Deck (52):
1

Is cancer a major cause of death in animals?

Yes - animals are living longer
USA study - 45% dogs >10 years old died of cancer

2

What are the major DDx for cnacer?

Inflammatory lesions - abscess, granuloma
Haematoma
Seroma
Cyst

3

What history/clinical evidence should you consider when deciding if a mass is cancer or not?

How long has it been present?
Is it growing and how rapidly?
Is it hot, erythematous or painful? (might indicate inflammatory lesion but could still be neoplasia)
Solid or fluid filled? (fluid could indicate abscess, seroma, haematoma, cysts - but could still be a tumour with necrotic centre)
Is it well-defined or ill-defined? Is it fixed to underlying tissues? (ill-defined lesion or fixation might indicate infiltrative growth or tumour)

4

What is the best way to go about making a diagnosis?

TAKE SAMPLES!
Cytology - FNA
Histopathology

5

What information does cytology provide you?

- Quick, cheap, easy
- Usually can distinguish inflammatory vs. neoplastic (inflammatory contains neutrophils or mixed cell population. Neoplastic lesions have one predominant cell type).
- Cell type and morphology (helps determine if benign or malignant)
- Useful to analyse effusions and BM

6

What information does cytology NOT provide you with? 4

Tissue architecture
Mitotic index
Invasion - vasculature/lymphatics
Tumour grade

7

How do you perform histopathology?

Requires biopsy under GA or sedation
Incisional, excisional, tru-cut, Jamshdi or trephine biopsy

8

How does histopathology tell you?

Gold standard for Dx
Differentiate inflammatory and neoplastic
Cell type and morphology
AND:
Tissue architecture (is it disrupted?)
mitotic index
invasion - vasculature/lymphatics/surrounding tissues
degree of necrosis
These features help decide if benign/malignant and sometimes assign a grade.

9

What should you do if a lesion is neoplastic?

- Determine cell/tissue of origin (epithelial, mesenchymal or round cell) - cytology or histopathology
- Special stains/IHC or additional techniques (flow cytometry) are sometimes required to make/refine Dx (e.g. to determine whether a lymphoma is a BC or TC origin)

10

Why is a definitive diagnosis essential?

Different tumour types have different biological behaviour and have different treatments.

11

Are lipomas and meningiomas benign or malignant?

Both benign

12

What is a tumour grade?

Assigned by pathologist
Helps predict behaviour of certain tumour types (MCT and STS)

Involves assessment of:
mitotic index
degree of cellularl differentiation
invasion - surrounding tissues/BVs/ lymphatics
Amount of necrosis
etc

Categorised as low, intermediate or high

13

When are numbers assigned to tumour grade?

Some specific cancers:
Patnaik grading system - MCT (1= low to 3=high)
Kiupel grading system (new) - MCT - 2 categories (low and high)

14

Why is grading important?

Can affect treatment plan and prognosis
Important for communication

15

What is clinical staging?

Performed after cancer Dx
= assesses the extent of disease in patient, performed by clinician
ASSESSMENT OF:
primary tumour
drainage LNs
screening for distant metastatic disease

TNM system often used (T= primary tumour, N = node, M = distant metastasis)

16

What is assessed in the T part of the TNM system?

T = primary tumour
Size
Mobility
Relationship to surrounding tissues
Presence/absence of ulceration/erythema

Physical palpation in many cases but may require imaging or endoscopy assessment

Sometimes the T,N and M are given a numerical or alphabetical suffix reflecting the extent of the involvement.

17

What is assessed in the N part of the TNM system?

Assess drainage LNs for:
size
mobility
relationship to surrounding tissues (mobile/fixed)
texture
consistency

Imaging might be required (internal LNs)
FNA (or biopsy) frequently used to assess if LN metastasis is present or not (nodes can be normal size yet affected by metastasis. Enalarged nodes can be metastatic or hyperplastic).

18

What is assessed in the M part of the TNM system?

History and PE give clues
Usually assessed via imaging
Lungs most common site for distant metastases (SA) --> thoracic radiographs (ideally inflated, 3-views) or CT (this is more sensitive for detecting metastases)
Other sites can be important - liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, skin, bones, CNS
FNA/biopsy maybe needed to confirm metastasis

19

Outline primary tumour classification (T)

T1 = 5cm diameter

20

Outline regional node classification (N)

N0 = histologic or cytologic - no metastasis
N1 = histologic or cytologic - metastasis present

21

Outline distant metastasis classification (M)

M0 = no distant metastasis present
M1 = distant metastasis present

22

When is the TNM classification not used?

For systemic or multicentric diseases - e..g. lymphoma present in a disseminated form and the TNM system is not appropriate. Lymphoma is staged according to the organ systems involved.

23

Outline the WHO system for staging canine lymphoma

1 = involvement limited to a single node or lymphoid tissue in a single organ (excluding BM)

2= involvement of more than one LN in a regional area (+/- tonsils)

3= generalised LN involvement (both sides of diaphragm)

4 = liver and/or spleen involvement (+/- stage 3)

5 = manifestation in the blood and involvement of BM and/or other organ systems (stages 1-4)

24

Differentiate tumour grade and tumour stage.

GRADE - describes how abnormal the tumour cells and tiissue look under the microscope. Indicative of ho wquickly a timour is likely to grow and spread

STAGE - refers to the size and/or extent/reach of the original/primary tumour and whether or not cancer cells have spread in the body

25

Why do paraneoplastic syndromes arise?

They are the result of tumours that secrete a:
hormone
hormone-like substance
enzyme
cytokine
OR
via immune-mediated mechanisms

26

What 4 baseline tests can you use to assess the cancer patient?

Haematology/CBC
Biochemistry
Urinalysis
Coagulation parameters - when inicated

27

Why do haematology/CBC?

Assess general health status
Essential as a baseline prior to starting chemo since many of these drugs are myelosuppressive
Assess RBC and WBC #s and morphology:
- anaemia
- cytopaenias
- abnormal cells

28

Why run a biochemistry profile?

General health status
Assess organ damage/function (e.g. prior to GA, chemo)
Important to look for paraneoplastic effect of tumour

29

Give some examples of paraneoplastic effects

Hypercalcaemia
Hypoglycaemia
Hyperglobulinaemia

30

Why might you get hypercalcaemia with cancer?

Tumour production of PTH-RP

Examples = lymphoma, myeloma, lymphoid leukaemia, anal sac adenocarcimoma, other cacinomas, thymoma

Untreated --> renal damage
Can also occur with increased PTH (parathyroid adenoma)

31

Why might you get hypoglycemia with cancer?

due to insulin secretion (insulinoma) or insulin-like growth factors (hepatic tumours, smooth muscle tumours)

32

Why might you get hyperglobulinaemia with a tumour?

due to excessive Ab production (e.g. myeloma and occasionally with lymphomas)

33

Why do a urinalysis?

Baseline screening for underlying renal problems or other diseases

34

When do you run coagulation parameters?

tumours can cause abnormalities in coagulation - both hypo and hypercoagulability

Thrombocytopaenia

Manual platelet counts and coagulation tests (PT, PTT, thromboelastography) might be indicated - e.g. if patient is showing bleeding tendencies

35

Give some paraneoplastic effects 10

Hypercalcaemia
Hypoglycaemia
Hyperviscosity (with hyperglubulinaemia, polycythemia)
Gastric ulceration/vomiting
Endocrine problems
Pyrexia
Immune-mediated diseases
Hypertrophic osteopathy
Dermatologic manifestations
Cancer cachexia

36

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic hypercalcaemia

PD/PU
depression
anorexia
weakness
bradycardia

37

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic hypoglycaemia

weakness
collapse
seizures

38

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic hyperviscosity (with hyperglubulinaemia, polycythemia)

neuro signs
seizures
retinal detachment

39

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic endocrine problems

HAC (pit or adrenal)
Hyper/hypo-thyroidism with thyroid neoplasia
acromegaly (excess IGF-1, adenoma cats)
feminisation (sertoli cell tumour)
hypertension (phaeochromocytoma)
hypercalcaemia (excess PTH or PTH-RP)
hypoglycaemia

40

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic immune-mediated diseases

Rare: IMH, IMT, polyarthritis, polymyositis, MG (thymoma)

41

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic hypertrophic osteopathy

lameness and swelling of long bones - periosteal new bone on shafts of long bones associated with intrathoracic masses. Mechanism unknwon

42

Clinical signs - paraneoplastic dermatologic manifestations

endocrine or immune-mediated

43

Define polycythaemia

= erythrocytosis, means having a high concentration of red blood cells in your blood.

44

What factors should be discussed with owners?

All of the treatment options
Owner expectations and goals of treatment
Importance of QoL
Psychological factors
Patient temparament
Patient general health status
Possible complications and adverse effects of treatments
Cost
Time/logistics/number of visits
Multiple GAs
Prognosis

45

Outline cancer treatment options

MOST COMMON:
Surgery
Radiation
Chemotherapy/cytotoxic drug therapy

OTHER:
Molecular targeted drug therapy (TKI)
Anti-angiogenic therapy (metronomic, continuous low-dose chemo)
Immunotherapy (melanoma DNA vaccine)
Others - photodynamic therapy, electrochemotherapy, bisphosphonates

46

When is surgery used?

many tumour types
carcinomas, sarcomas, MCT
sole or combination
can be curative

47

When is radiation used?

primary treatment (e.f. for nasal tumours or for localised radiosensitive, non-resectable tumours)
frequently used as an adjunctive therapy
also neo-adjuvant therapy (to shrink tumour)

48

When is chemotherapy indicated?

systemic disease (lymphoma, leukaemia, myeloma, systemic mast cell disease, disseminated histiocytic sarcoma)
Highly metastatic tumours - used as an adjunctive treatment, following surgical removal of the primary tumour (HSA, OSA, high grade STS)
Sometimes used following incomplete resection or to treat non-resectable chomsensitive tumours or to shrink a tumour prior to surgery (non-adjuvant chemotherapy)

49

What supportive care can you give to the cancer patient?

TRY TO ANTICPICATE/PREVENT adverse effects
Nutrition
Hydration
GIT problems/anorexia - consider gut protectants (H2 blockers, sucralfate, omeprazole), anti-emetics (maropitant, odansetron), appetite stimulants (cyproheptadine, mirtazepine)
ABs - if neutropenic (due to disease or chemo)
Analgesia - short and long term (NSAIDs, opiods - tramadol, buprenorphine), other (gabapentin)
Physio

50

Why are chemotherapy drugs a health and saftey risk?

carcinogenic
mutagenic
teratogenic

51

How should injectable chemo drugs be drawn?

ideally they should be reconstituted or drwan into syringes in a cytotoxic safety cabinet (biological class 2 or 3). The Phaseal system is useful in a practice situation - allows safe preparation and a closed administration system. Pre-prepared doses can also be bought (Chemopet).

Luer-locking syringes should be used

52

How long should you be careful about a chemo animal?

Residues of cytoxic drugs will be present in body fluids/excreta of dogs and cats for several days after treatment (Vincristine in urine for 3 days, vinblastine for 7 dyas and doxorubicin for up to 21 days)

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