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Evaluation of Weight Change During Carboplatin Therapy in Dogs With Appendicular Osteosarcoma



The prevalence of cancer cachexia in veterinary medicine has not been studied widely, and as of yet, no definitive diagnostic criteria effectively assess this syndrome in veterinary patients.


(1) To determine the patterns of weight change in dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma treated with amputation and single-agent carboplatin during the course of adjuvant chemotherapy; and (2) to determine whether postoperative weight change is a negative prognostic indicator for survival time in dogs with osteosarcoma.


Eighty-eight dogs diagnosed with appendicular osteosarcoma. Animals were accrued from 3 veterinary teaching hospitals.


Retrospective, multi-institutional study. Dogs diagnosed with appendicular osteosarcoma and treated with limb amputation followed by a minimum of 4 doses of single-agent carboplatin were included. Data analyzed in each patient included signalment, tumor site, preoperative serum alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), and body weight (kg) at each carboplatin treatment.


A slight increase in weight occurred over the course of chemotherapy, but this change was not statistically significant. Weight change did not have a significant effect on survival. Institution, patient sex, and serum ALP activity did not have a significant effect on survival.

Conclusions and clinical importance

Weight change was not a prognostic factor in these dogs, and weight loss alone may not be a suitable method of determining cancer cachexia in dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma.

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