• Open Access

CA15.3, CEA and LDH in Dogs with Malignant Mammary Tumors


  • The work was done at the Department of General Pathology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Laboratory of Comparative Pathology, Federal University of Minas Gerais. Part of this work was presented as an abstract at the 28th Brazilian Congress of Pathology and Latinoamerican Society Congress of Pathology, 2011, Maceió, Brazil

Corresponding author: Geovanni Dantas Cassali, Laboratory of Comparative Pathology, Department of General Pathology, ICB/UFMG, PO Box 486 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil; e-mail: cassalig@icb.ufmg.br.



Presence of tumor markers in serum might be connected to the number of secreting cells and with the stage of the neoplasm. However, there are few studies regarding these markers in veterinary clinical oncology.


To determine the serum concentrations of cancer antigen 15.3 (CA 15.3), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in female dogs with different stages of mammary cancer.


Ninety female dogs, including 30 that were healthy, 40 that had nonmetastatic cancer, 12 with regional metastasis, and 8 with distant lymph node metastasis.


Prospective case-controlled observational study. Serum samples were collected to measure CA15.3, CEA, and LDH from 60 female dogs with mammary cancer during mastectomy and 30 healthy female dogs during routine check-up. CA15.3 and CEA were determined by chemiluminescent immunoassay and LDH by ultraviolet kinetic method. Western blotting analysis was performed to confirm the specificity and possible cross-reactivity of human CA15.3 and CEA antibodies with canine serum. Group data were compared by ANOVA followed by Student-Newman-Keuls and Tukey's tests. Correlations were investigated by Pearson and Spearman tests.


CEA, CA15.3, and LDH were measurable in all groups. Higher serum concentration of CA15.3 and LDH was associated with regional and distant metastases. There was a significantly higher serum CA15.3 concentration in animals with lymph node metastasis when compared with animals without metastasis. There were no significant differences in CEA among groups. Expression of CA15.3 and CEA in canine serum was confirmed by Western blotting.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

Serum CA15.3 can be used to distinguish nonmetastatic from metastatic carcinomas.