Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Original Research"

Evaluation of electrochemotherapy in the management of anal sac apocrine gland adenocarcinomas in dogs: A retrospective study

Paola Valenti(1,2*), Francesco Menicagli(3), Alfonso Baldi(4,5), Gabriele Barella(1), Chiara Catalucci(1), Valeria Attorri(2) and Enrico P. Spugnini(5)

1- Clinica Veterinaria Malpensa, Samarate (VA), Italy

2- Ospedale Veterinario i Portoni Rossi, Zola Predosa (BO), Italy

3- Clinica Veterinaria Giaconella, Roma, Italy

4- Department of Environmental, Biological, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Caserta, Italy

5- Biopulse srl, Naples, Italy


Background: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) combines the administration of anticancer drugs with the delivery of electric pulses, thus increasing the drug uptake through the cell membranes, resulting in increased efficacy.

Aim: The aim of our study was to describe the tolerability and efficacy of ECT alone or in association with other treatment modalities for the management of Apocrine Gland Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma (AGASAC).

Methods: Medical records of dogs with a diagnosis of AGASAC that were treated with ECT alone or in combination with surgery/chemotherapy were retrospectively evaluated. Each dog received 20 mg/m2 of bleomycin intravenously. Based on the clinician decision, the primary tumor or tumor bed was also infiltrated with cisplatin at the dose of 0.5 mg/cm2. Trains of permeabilizing biphasic electric pulses were then applied under general anaesthesia.

Results: Ten dogs were enrolled in the study. Of those ten dogs, only one received ECT for treatment of microscopic local disease, while in 6 cases ECT was the only treatment modality. In 3 dogs, ECT was followed by systemic medical treatment. Six dogs (60%) had a partial response (PR), 3 dogs (30%) had stable disease (SD), and one dog treated for microscopic disease did not show any sign of local relapse 305 days after treatment, being still alive and in complete remission (CR) at the time of writing. The median time to progression was 303 days and the median survival time was 365 days. The treatment was well tolerated and local side effects were minimal. No systemic effects were documented.

Conclusion: This preliminary study suggests that ECT may be beneficial for dogs with AGASAC and could be a useful addition to the current therapeutic options in consideration of its low cost, limited toxicity, and ease of administration.

Keywords: Anal Gland Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma, Bleomycin, Cisplatin, Dog, Electrochemotherapy.

Cite this paper:
Valenti, P., Menicagli, F., Baldi, A., Barella, G., Catalucci, C., Attorri, V. and Spugnini, E.P. 2021. Evaluation of electrochemotherapy in the management of anal sac apocrine gland adenocarcinomas in dogs: a retrospective study. Open Vet. J. 11(1), 100-106.