Primary chondrosarcoma and osteochondrosarcoma are malignant, slow-growing and locally invasive tumors of skeletal and extraskeletal cartilage and are the second most common primary bone tumor in dogs.
Chondrosarcomas may be primary, arising within a bone (central) or from the periosteum (peripheral), or secondary, arising by malignant change in osteochondromas. They can be found in large-breed dogs of any age, affecting the ribs, mammary gland, penile urethra, digit, tongue, kidney, liver, abdominal wall, scapula, skull, nasal cavity, pelvis, eye, heart, larynx, aorta, spleen and lungs.
Clinically affected dogs usually present with multiple soft-tissue masses in the affected area with regional swelling. When involving the limbs, lameness is a consistent finding.
Diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, often associated with swelling in the surrounding tissue. Radiography may display osteolyis of neighboring bone and osteolytic regions associated with the tumor. Pulmonary radiographs are necessary to determine possible secondary metastases.
A definitive diagnosis requires histopathology, with characteristic chondrocytes with marked nuclear pleomorphism and a high mitotic rate. Histologically, two different types of chondrosarcoma are recognized: myxoid, the most common type found in skeletal tumors, and mesenchymal, a rarer type found more often in extraskeletal sites. Grading is usually given on a scale of 1 (mild) to 3 (aggressive).
Immunohistochemically, these tumors stain positively for vimentin, S-100 protein, neuron-specific enolase, calretinin, and chromogranin A.
Treatment usually involves wide-margin surgical resection and radiotherapy.
Appendicular chondrosarcoma can be treated effectively with amputation alone. Low to intermediate grade chondrosarcoma has a good prognosis, whereas high-grade tumors appear to behave aggressively.
Survival times following treatment range from 1 - 4 years.
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