Postvaccinal sarcomas in the cat: epidemiology and electron probe microanalytical identification of aluminum

Cancer Res. 1992 Oct 1;52(19):5391-4.


An increase in fibrosarcomas in a biopsy population of cats in the Pennsylvania area appears to be related to the increased vaccination of cats following enactment of a mandatory rabies vaccination law. The majority of fibrosarcomas arose in sites routinely used by veterinarians for vaccination, and 42 of 198 tumors were surrounded by lymphocytes and macrophages containing foreign material identical to that previously described in postvaccinal inflammatory injection site reactions. Some of the vaccines used have aluminum-based adjuvants, and macrophages surrounding three tumors contained aluminum oxide identified by electron probe microanalysis and imaged by energy-filtered electron microscopy. Persistence of inflammatory and immunological reactions associated with aluminum may predispose the cat to a derangement of its fibrous connective tissue repair response, leading to neoplasia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / adverse effects
  • Aluminum / analysis*
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / adverse effects
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / analysis
  • Animals
  • Biopsy
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cat Diseases / etiology
  • Cat Diseases / pathology
  • Cats
  • Electron Probe Microanalysis
  • Fibrosarcoma / chemistry
  • Fibrosarcoma / ultrastructure
  • Fibrosarcoma / veterinary*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / cytology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Rabies Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*


  • Rabies Vaccines
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Aluminum