Jaclyn Amber

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Baron

Degree Award Date

Spring 2003


canine spindle cell sarcoma, hemangiopericytoma, standard histological approach, soft tissue cancer, surgical excision, radiation


Animal Sciences | Biology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research


Soft tissue cancer, such as hemangiopericytoma, a type of spindle cell sarcoma, is very common in canines. Basic histological methods are generally used to diagnose such cancer although complex tests may be needed to distinguish between specific types of sarcomas. These cancers have a high rate of reoccurrence and treatment of choice is surgical excision with a wide margin followed by radiation. Alternative methods of treatment such as chemotherapy or antiangiogenetic drugs are also being explored. The purpose of this case study is to use basic histological analysis to confirm the diagnosis of spindle cell sarcoma and to look for evidence of hemangiopericytoma in a tumor removed from a six-year-old golden retriever. Results indicate that the tumor could be a hemangiopericytoma. The tumor's color, form, location and reoccurrence patterns are in accordance with this diagnosis. The cancer cells are spindle-shaped, compact and have a high mitotic rate. Also, the cancer cells infiltrate the pericytes that surround the blood vessels causing the blood vessels to branch in a stag-horn pattern. The nuclei are of variable sizes and shapes. Complete confirmation would be dependent on more extensive tests. The current treatment plan of surgical excision and encouragement to receive radiation is therefore appropriate.