Post-surgical treatment of thyroid carcinoma in dogs with retinoic acid 9 cis improves patient outcome

Castillo V, Pessina P, Hall P, et al.

Open Vet J 2016;6:6-14.

The objective of the present study was to compare the effects of isotretinoin 9-cis (RA9-cis) as a post-surgery treatment of thyroid carcinoma to a traditional treatment (doxorubicin) and no treatment. Owners who did not want their dogs to receive treatment were placed into the control group A (GA; n=10). The remaining dogs were randomly placed into either group B (GB; n=12) and received doxorubicin at a dose of 30 mg/m(2) every three weeks, for six complete cycles or group C (GC; n=15) and treated with RA9-cis at a dose of 2 mg/kg/day for 6 months. The time of the recurrence was significantly shorter in the GA and GB compared to GC (P=0.0007; P=0.0015 respectively), while we did not detect differences between GA and GB. The hazard ratio of recurrence between GA and GB compared to GC were 7.25 and 5.60 times shorter, respectively. We did not detect any differences between the other groups. The risk ratio of recurrence was 2.0 times higher in GA compared to GC and 2.1 times higher in GB compared to GC. The type of carcinoma had an effect on time of survival with follicular carcinomas having an increased mean survival time than follicular-compact carcinomas (P<0.0001) and follicular-compact carcinomas had a longer mean survival time than compact carcinomas. The interaction among treatment and type was significant, but survival time in follicular carcinomas did not differ between treatments. In follicular-compact carcinomas the survival time of GC was greater than GB (P<0.05), but we did not detect a difference between GA and GB. In conclusion, this study shows that the use of surgery in combination with RA9-cis treatment significantly increases survival rate and decreases the time to tumor recurrence when compared to doxorubicin treated or untreated dogs. The histological type of carcinoma interacted with treatment for time to recurrence and survival time, with more undifferentiated carcinomas having a worse prognosis than differentiated carcinomas.