Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association2006; 229(10); 1617-1622; doi: 10.2460/javma.229.10.1617

Use of cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads for treatment of cutaneous neoplasia in equidae: 59 cases (2000-2004).

Abstract: To determine outcome for equids with cutaneous neoplasms treated with cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads, alone or in conjunction with debulking. Methods: Retrospective case series. Methods: 56 horses, 1 zebra, 1 donkey, and 1 mule. Methods: Medical records were reviewed. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone conversations with owners and trainers of the animals. Results: 22 tumors were sarcoids, 6 were fibrosarcomas, 1 was a fibroma, 2 were peripheral nerve sheath tumors, 11 were squamous cell carcinomas, 14 were melanomas (13 gray horses and 1 bay horse), 1 was a lymphosarcoma, 1 was an adenocarcinoma, and 1 was a basal cell tumor. Forty-five (76%) animals underwent conventional or laser debulking of the tumor prior to bead implantation. Forty of 48 (83%) animals for which long-term follow-up information was available were relapse free 2 years after treatment. This included 20 of 22 animals with spindle cell tumors (including 11/13 horses with sarcoids), 6 of 10 animals with squamous cell carcinomas, 13 of 14 animals with melanomas, and 2 of 3 animals with other tumor types. Adverse effects were minimal. Conclusions: Results suggest that implantation of cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads, with or without tumor debulking, may be an effective treatment for equidae with various cutaneous neoplasms.
Publication Date: 2006-11-17 PubMed ID: 17107319DOI: 10.2460/javma.229.10.1617Google Scholar: Lookup
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The research article studies the efficacy of using cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads for treating skin tumors in horses and other similar animals. The study found that most of the animals treated with this method were tumor-free two years post-treatment, suggesting this may be an effective treatment approach.

Study Objective and Methods

  • The main objective of the study was to determine the treatment outcomes for horses (equids) with skin tumors (cutaneous neoplasms) using cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads. The beads were used either alone or in combination with debulking, a surgical procedure to remove some or all of a tumor.
  • This retrospective case series involved 59 animals, including 56 horses, a zebra, a donkey, and a mule.
  • Treatment and outcomes were gathered by reviewing the animals’ medical records and through telephone follow-ups with the animals’ owners and trainers.

Tumor Types and Treatment Approaches

  • The animals in the study had various types of tumors, including sarcoids, fibrosarcomas, fibromas, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas, lymphosarcomas, adenocarcinomas, and basal cell tumors.
  • Approximately 76% of the animals underwent conventional or laser debulking of the tumor prior to the bead implantation.

Results of the Study

  • Of the 48 animals for which long-term follow-up was available, 83% were free from cancer (relapse-free) 2 years after treatment. This result included data from various types of tumors.
  • Adverse effects from the treatment were minimal, suggesting the treatment was not only effective but also safe.

Conclusion of the Research

  • The results of the study support the use of cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads, with or without tumor debulking, as a potentially effective treatment for horses and other similar animals suffering from various types of skin tumors.

Cite This Article

Hewes CA, Sullins KE. (2006). Use of cisplatin-containing biodegradable beads for treatment of cutaneous neoplasia in equidae: 59 cases (2000-2004). J Am Vet Med Assoc, 229(10), 1617-1622.


ISSN: 0003-1488
NlmUniqueID: 7503067
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 229
Issue: 10
Pages: 1617-1622

Researcher Affiliations

Hewes, Christina A
  • Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Leesburg, VA 20177, USA.
Sullins, Kenneth E

    MeSH Terms

    • Animals
    • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
    • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
    • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
    • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / veterinary
    • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
    • Equidae
    • Female
    • Horse Diseases / drug therapy
    • Horse Diseases / surgery
    • Horses
    • Laser Therapy / methods
    • Laser Therapy / veterinary
    • Male
    • Melanoma / drug therapy
    • Melanoma / surgery
    • Melanoma / veterinary
    • Retrospective Studies
    • Sarcoma / drug therapy
    • Sarcoma / surgery
    • Sarcoma / veterinary
    • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
    • Skin Neoplasms / surgery
    • Skin Neoplasms / veterinary
    • Treatment Outcome


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