Survival time of dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma treated by splenectomy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy: 208 cases (2001-2012)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2015 Aug 15;247(4):393-403. doi: 10.2460/javma.247.4.393.


Objective: To determine survival time for dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma treated with splenectomy alone, identify potential prognostic factors, and evaluate the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: 208 dogs.

Procedures: Medical records were reviewed, long-term follow-up information was obtained, and survival data were analyzed statistically.

Results: 154 dogs were treated with surgery alone, and 54 were treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Twenty-eight dogs received conventional chemotherapy, 13 received cyclophosphamide-based metronomic chemotherapy, and 13 received both conventional and metronomic chemotherapy. Median survival time of dogs treated with splenectomy alone was 1.6 months. Clinical stage was the only prognostic factor significantly associated with survival time. When the entire follow-up period was considered, there was no significant difference in survival time between dogs treated with surgery alone and dogs treated with surgery and chemotherapy. However, during the first 4 months of follow-up, after adjusting for the effects of clinical stage, survival time was significantly prolonged among dogs receiving any type of chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 0.6) and among dogs receiving both conventional and metronomic chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 0.4).

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Clinical stage was strongly associated with prognosis for dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma. Chemotherapy was effective in prolonging survival time during the early portion of the follow-up period. Combinations of doxorubicin-based conventional protocols and cyclophosphamide-based metronomic protocols appeared to be more effective than either type of chemotherapy alone, but prolongations in survival time resulting from current protocols were modest.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / veterinary
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / mortality*
  • Dog Diseases / surgery
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / mortality
  • Hemangiosarcoma / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Splenectomy / veterinary
  • Splenic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Splenic Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome