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Local photodynamic therapy delays recurrence of equine periocular squamous cell carcinoma compared to cryotherapy

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Abstract

Objective

(i) To report the successful treatment of 10 cases of equine periocular squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) with surgical excision and photodynamic therapy (PDT) using verteporfin. (ii) To evaluate time to first tumor recurrence between PDT-treated horses and horses treated with surgical excision and cryotherapy.

Methods

A total of 24 equine PSCC cases were included: group 1 (n = 14) had excision and cryotherapy (1993–2003), group 2 (n = 10), excision and local PDT (2006–2010). Evaluated data: signalment, treatment method, tumor location, size, and time to first recurrence. Groups were compared via chi-square test for categorical variables and Wilcoxon rank-sum test for numeric variables. Time to tumor recurrence was examined using Kaplan–Meier product-limit survival analysis.

Results

Of 24 cases, nine breeds were affected. Mean age at treatment in years: 14 (range 5–24) in group 1; 11 (range 8–18) in group 2. Median tumor size: 163 mm2 (range 20–625 mm2) in group 1; 195 mm2 (range 45–775 mm2) in group 2. Signalment, tumor laterality, and size were not significantly different between groups. Time to recurrence was significantly different between groups (Logrank test, P = 0.0006). In group 1, 11/14 horses had tumor regrowth with median time to recurrence in months: 10 (range 1–44). In group 2 (minimum follow-up of 25 months; range 25–50), no horse demonstrated tumor recurrence after one treatment with excision and PDT.

Conclusions

This represents the first report of local PDT using verteporfin for treatment of equine PSCC. Following surgery, the likelihood of tumor recurrence was significantly reduced with local PDT compared with cryotherapy.

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