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Evaluating the use of masitinib in treating mast cell tumours in dogs

J. Grant, S. North, D. Lanore

MAST cell tumours account for around 17 to 21 per cent of all canine cutaneous tumours. Substantial progress in molecular biology has resulted in the development of a new class of drug for treatment of mast cell tumours in dogs: tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In November 2009, masitinib (Masivet/Kinavet, AB Science) was launched, a potent inhibitor of KIT, the mast/stem cell growth factor receptor expressed in normal mast cells. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical response and toxicity associated with masitinib treatment of mast cell tumours in dogs.

A retrospective review of the medical records of 39 dogs that had undergone treatment with masitinib for mast cell tumours was undertaken. Patient signalment, tumour location, grade and stage, dose of masitinib, side effects and survival time were documented.

Clinical response was seen in 32 dogs receiving masitinib, with 15 dogs exhibiting a complete response. Adverse effects were seen in 25 dogs, with serum alanine aminotransferase elevation (nine dogs) and vomiting (six dogs) being most common. Median survival time following initiation of masitinib was 159 days (range 14 to 1339 days).

The authors conclude that their study supports the use of masitinib as an effective agent against mast cell tumours, but suggest that larger prospective studies …

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