Evaluation of imaging and intraoperative techniques for the identification of sentinel lymph nodes in dogs with oral tumors

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs diagnosed with oral tumors for a clinical research trial. The purpose of the study is to evaluate protocols for identification of sentinel lymph nodes using CT imaging and intraoperative techniques.

  • Inclusion Criteria: Any dog diagnosed with oral tumors (melanoma or Mast cell tumor) and is currently undergoing or scheduled to receive standard of care treatment (CT scan, surgery, etc.) with lymph node removal.
  • Treatment: Patient will receive two CT scans (simultaneously), the first with injection of standard intravenous contrast agent and the second with injection of a similar agent into the tumor. Patients who are candidates for surgical tumor removal will also receive an injection of methylene blue dye and ICG dye into the tumor the day of surgery to track the lymph nodes.
  • Cost: There is no financial compensation for participation in this study. Owners will be responsible for all associated costs, including the standard costs for preoperative staging (CT scans), surgery for removal of the tumor and lymph nodes, and histopathology (biopsy).
  • Contact: Contact the Oncology Staff at the Small Animal Hospital at (352)392-2235 or email Dr. Judith Bertran at judith@ufl.edu [or email at VM-ClinicalStudies@ufl.edu].
  • PI: Judith Bertran

Background: In the field of veterinary oncology, identification of the spread of cancer (metastasis) is critical for determining the extent of disease, prognosis, and for developing treatment plans. For many cancer types, metastasis occurs via the lymphatic system and the status of the draining lymph nodes is an important part of the surgical evaluation. The sentinel lymph node is the primary lymph node draining the tumor. While we expect that it is the first lymph node that would normally drain the area of the tumor, this is not always true. Failure to identify and assess the sentinel lymph node can lead to failure to remove all of the tumor cells, worse prognosis and poor patient outcome. Currently in veterinary patients, good protocols to identify sentinel lymph nodes have not been established. The development of these protocols could help us to decrease the number of lymph nodes we remove during surgical treatment of a tumor and make sure we are accurately evaluating the most important lymph node for making follow-up treatment recommendations

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