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Adjuvant therapy for highly malignant canine mammary tumours: Cox-2 inhibitor versus chemotherapy: a case–control prospective study
  1. C. Arenas, PhD DVM1,
  2. L. Peña, PhD, Dipl ECVP, DVM2,
  3. J. L. Granados-Soler, DVM2 and
  4. M. D. Pérez-Alenza, PhD, DVM2
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University Complutense of Madrid, Veterinary School Hospital, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to E-mail for correspondence: caroarenas10{at}


Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) enzyme participates in different steps of the carcinogenetic process and in canine mammary tumours (CMTs), a high expression of Cox-2 is associated with malignancy and tumour angiogenesis. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of a Cox-2 inhibitor as adjuvant therapy in dogs with highly malignant (HM)-CMTs and compare it with that of dogs treated with chemotherapy and with control dogs. Twenty-eight dogs were prospectively included. After surgery, dogs were alternatively allocated into two treatment groups (chemotherapy with mitoxantrone n=8; Cox-2 inhibitor, firocoxib n=7). Control group (n=13) included dogs whose owners rejected adjuvant therapy. All dogs were followed up for two years or until death. The DFS was significantly higher in dogs that received adjuvant treatment (mitoxantrone or firocoxib) (P=0.030) than in control dogs. Dogs on firocoxib treatment had significantly higher DFS (P=0.015) and OS (P=0.048) than control dogs. The DFS and OS of dogs on mitoxantrone treatment were not statistically different from controls. In conclusion, this study supports the use of firocoxib for the treatment of HM-CMTs. Further studies are needed to compare the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs versus Cox-2 inhibitors as adjuvant treatment in these cases.

  • Dogs
  • cox-inhibitor
  • Chemotherapy
  • angiogenesis
  • mammary tumors

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