Mast cell tumors in the dog

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2003 May;33(3):473-89, v. doi: 10.1016/s0195-5616(03)00003-2.


The most common skin tumor in dogs is the mast cell tumor (MCT), with an incidence of close to 20% in the canine population. MCTs range from relatively benign to extremely aggressive, leading to metastasis and eventual death from systemic disease. Although surgical removal with or without radiation therapy may cure most patients with low-grade MCTs, there are no effective treatments for dogs with aggressive high-grade MCTs. This article reviews the current understanding of MCT biology with regard to diagnosis, staging, identification of prognostic indicators, and appropriate treatment planning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Mast-Cell Sarcoma / diagnosis
  • Mast-Cell Sarcoma / therapy
  • Mast-Cell Sarcoma / veterinary*