The use of megavoltage radiation therapy in the treatment of thymomas in rabbits: 19 cases


Dr K. M. Andres
VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists
600 Alabama Street
San Francisco, CA 94110, USA


An overall median survival time (MST) and prognostic factors in rabbits with thymomas treated with megavoltage radiation therapy (RT) were determined in this multi-institutional retrospective case analysis. Medical records for 19 rabbits with suspected or confirmed thymomas treated with RT were evaluated for data including signalment, haematological and serum biochemistry abnormalities, presence of pleural effusion, radiation plan, body weight, total radiation dose and institution administering RT. Statistical significance of these factors related to overall survival was assessed. An overall MST for all 19 rabbits was 313 days; exclusion of 3 rabbits that died acutely during the first 14 days of RT yielded a MST of 727 days. The only factor associated with a significantly decreased survival time was having a body weight lower than mean body weight of 1.57 kg. Radiation treatment-associated complications were infrequent and included radiation-induced myocardial failure, radiation pneumonitis and alopecia.