Myxosarcomas in Dogs

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My dog was just diagnosed with myxosarcoma. Could you offer any information on treatment, etc.?  
Thank you.

Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:

Myxosarcomas are a type of generally "low grade" soft tissue sarcomas that arise from the connective tissues of the body. Low grade tumors are locally very invasive and aggressive, but are unlikely to metastasize (spread to other body parts). The "grade" of the tumor is determined by both the appearance of the tumor cells under the microscope and how rapidly and invasively the tumor is growing.

If there is no evidence of tumor spread (i.e. to lymph nodes and lungs) then the treatment of choice is complete surgical removal, or a combination of surgery and radiation therapy. It can be very difficult to adequately remove a large tumor on a limb with surgery by itself short of an amputation. Chemotherapy is not considered a primary mode of treatment for low-grade tumors (although it might be recommended for the much less common high-grade versions of these tumors).

If you or your veterinarian have not already done so, please consult a qualified veterinary oncologist.