• Open Access

Treatment of Dogs with Oral Melanoma by Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy and Platinum-Based Chemotherapy (1987–1997)


Oncology, 1111 W Loop S, Suite 150, Houston, TX 77027; e-mail: drhahn@gulfcoastvetspec.com.


This retrospective study in 39 dogs with incompletely resected oral melanoma examined the efficacy of hypofractionated radiation therapy and platinum-containing chemotherapy. All dogs were completely staged, with the majority of dogs classified as stage I. Dogs received 6 weekly fractions of 6-gray (Gy) megavoltage irradiation with a cobalt-60 unit or a 4-MeV (megaelectron volts) linear accelerator. Dogs received cisplatin (10–30 mg/m2 IV) or carboplatin (90 mg/m2 IV) chemotherapy 60 minutes before radiation delivery. Durations of local control, metastasis-free survival time, and overall survival time were recorded. By the Kaplan-Meier method, 15% of the dogs had local recurrence within a median time of 139 days. Fifty-one percent of the dogs developed metastatic disease within a median time of 311 days (range, 24–2,163 days). Median survival time for all 39 dogs was 363 days. The combined use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in this protocol provided local control consistent with previous studies. Low-dose chemotherapy was used with the intent of enhancing radiation therapy for the local control of an incompletely excised tumor. Survival times were longer than previously reported for dogs with oral malignant melanoma. Additional studies are required to determine whether these results were due to the effects of chemotherapy on microscopic disease or the enhanced local control provided by chemoradiation therapy.