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Treatment of Lymphoma in Cats

Gastrointestinal lymphoma is the most commonly diagnosed form of lymphoma in cats. There are two distinct forms based on size of the neoplastic lymphocytes, large- and small-cell lymphoma. This was a retrospective study of 28 cats diagnosed in large part via full-thickness intestinal biopsies with small-cell lymphoma. The majority of cases were CD3+ (T cell marker) and many exhibited epithelioltropism. In this study, all cats were started on chlorambucil at a dose of 20 mg/m2 every 2 weeks. Additionally, 17 of the 28 cats (60%) received prednisone or prednisolone at 2 mg/kg once daily for one week. All cats had their prednisone/prednisolone dosages tapered to 1 mg/kg orally every other day until disease relapse or progression of disease. Treatment with chlorambucil and a glucocorticoid resulted in clinical remission in 96% of cats, with a median duration of 786 days for the first clinical response. Seven cats relapsed from remission and were treated with a rescue protocol of cyclophosphamide and glucocorticoids. The response rate was 100% for the rescue protocol. The authors did find it striking that four (14%) of the 28 cats developed a second malignancy during their course of treatment. [VT]
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