Assessment of postoperative adjuvant treatment using toceranib phosphate against adenocarcinoma in dogs

J Vet Intern Med. 2020 May;34(3):1272-1281. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15768. Epub 2020 Apr 8.


Background: Toceranib phosphate (TOC) could be made widely available for treating tumors in dogs if evidence shows that TOC inhibits recurrence after surgery.

Objectives: To investigate how postoperative adjuvant treatment with TOC modulates the tumor microenvironment (TME), by assessing effects on angiogenic activity, tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells (Tregs), and intratumoral hypoxia.

Animals: Ninety-two client-owned dogs were included: 28 with apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma, 24 with small intestinal adenocarcinoma, 22 with lung adenocarcinoma, and 18 with renal cell carcinoma.

Methods: Retrospective, multicenter study comparing time to progression (TTP) between 42 dogs treated by surgery and TOC and 50 dogs treated by surgery alone. Differences were analyzed in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2) and the number of Foxp3+ Tregs and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α+ cells in tumor tissues sampled at the first and second (recurrence) surgeries.

Results: Median TTP for dogs treated by surgery and TOC (360 days) was higher than that for dogs treated by surgery alone (298 days; hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.65-0.96; P = .02). In dogs treated by surgery and TOC, VEGFR2 expression and the number of Tregs and HIF-1α+ cells were significantly lower in tissues sampled at the second surgery than in those sampled after the first surgery. In dogs treated by surgery alone, significant differences were found between samples from the 2 surgeries.

Conclusions and clinical importance: Toceranib phosphate could prove to be a useful postoperative adjuvant treatment because of its modulation of the TME.

Keywords: adenocarcinoma; postoperative adjuvant treatment; toceranib phosphate; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / veterinary*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / surgery
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Indoles / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / veterinary
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Microenvironment / drug effects
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / metabolism


  • Indoles
  • Pyrroles
  • toceranib phosphate
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2