Electrochemotherapy palliation of an oral squamous cell carcinoma in an African hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)

Document Type: Clinical Report

Authors

1 Biopulse Ltd., Naples, Italy

2 Gianicolense Veterinary Center, Rome, Italy

3 Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania "L. Vanvitelli", Caserta, Italy

Abstract

A five-year-old female African hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) was referred for a one month growing oral mass. The hedgehog was quiet, alert and responsive, with a 1.00 × 1.50 cm ulcerated lesion on the mandible. The patient was staged with total body radiographs, hematological and biochemical analyses and the mass was biopsied under anesthesia. The excised tissue was reported to be a squamous cell carcinoma. At this time, due to the extension of the mass, a surgical excision was not a therapeutic option and the tumor was palliated with electrochemotherapy (ECT). Monthly sessions of ECT were performed using intra-lesional bleomycin injection followed by trains of biphasic electric pulses. The treatment was well tolerated and the patient remained in partial remission for five months until tumor progression. At that time the pet was euthanized. The ECT resulted in improved local control and should be considered as a possible adjuvant treatment in exotic pets with advanced tumors.

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