Histomorphological and Immunophenotypic Characterization of Feline Injection Site-Associated Sarcoma

Sílvia Teixeira Pereira, Conrado Oliveira Gamba, Rodrigo Santos Horta, Rúbia Monteiro de Castro Cunha, Gleidice Eunice Lavalle, Geovanni Dantas Cassali, Roberto Baracat Araújo


Background: Feline Injection Site-Associated Sarcoma (FISS) is a mesenchymal neoplasia of aggressive behavior that develops in sites where vaccine or drugs were administered. FISS is clinically characterized by the appearance of a solitary firm nodule or a diffuse mass, adhered to tissues, in regions associated to vaccine or drug applications. Despite low prevalence, tumor recurrence rates can reach 80%. FISS present more aggressive histological characteristics when compared to sarcomas not associated to injection sites. The aim of this paper is to contribute towards the understanding of the biological behavior of FISS.

Materials, Methods & Results: Sixteen samples of FISS were analyzed. Fibrosarcomas were the most frequent histological subtype (62.5%). Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor was diagnosed in 18.75% cases. Ten (62.5%) FISS were classified as grade II; 4/16 (25%) grade I, and 2/16 (12.5%) grade III. Cox-2 overexpression occurred in 3/16 (18.75%) samples, with positive correlation between Cox-2 expression and cellularity (r = 0.696, P = 0.003). Mitotic index lower than 9 events was found in 11/16 (68.7%) samples and between 10 and 19 mitotic events in 5/16 (31.3%) cases. Mean Ki-67 expression was 2.39 ± 2.48%. FISS characterized as fibrosarcomas presented longer overall survival (median 545 days) than other histological subtypes (median 130.5 days) [P = 0.01].

Discussion: Patients with FISS generally present with larger nodules than those with sarcomas not associated to injections, suggesting a challenge for pet owners to note subcutaneous tumors in the interscapular region, in addition to the aggressive biological behavior of FISS. The influence of size on prognosis remains controversial. An association between histologic grade and the development of metastasis has been observed, with patients with grade III FISS associated with an increase in the metastatic rate. The present study did not find a correlation between overall survival and histologic grade. A positive correlation between the presence of giant multinucleated cells and tumor grade has been observed.Despite the absence of such correlation in the present study, possibly due to a small sample, a trend for higher frequency of giant cells in advanced histologic grade was observed. Cox-2 expression in 81.75% and overexpression in 18.75% of our samples contrasts with the 64% Cox-2 expression and the absence of Cox-2 expression found by other authors. A positive moderate correlation between cellularity and Cox-2 expression was also observed, while another study did not find a correlation of Cox-2 expression with tumor grade, recurrence rates or overall survival. Cox metabolites such as prostaglandins can enhance cellular proliferation, inhibit apoptosis, induce angiogenesis, alter cellular adherence to facilitate metastatic development and inhibit immune surveillance. In the present study, no correlation was found between Cox-2 and angiogenesis in FISS. Our findings demonstrated low immunolabeling for Ki-67. A previous study analyzed 52 samples of FISS, 51% of them considered grade III, with a mean Ki-67 labeling of 14%. The lower Ki-67 staining in the samples of the present study may be related to the lower number of samples of grade III FISS or to a difference in the studied population. Fibrosarcomas are associated with better prognosis than other histological subtypes. Furthermore, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors were diagnosed as a possible histological subtype of FISS.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.109525

Copyright (c) 2021 Sílvia Pereira, Conrado Gamba, Rodrigo Horta, Rúbia Monteiro de Castro Cunha, Gleidice Lavalle, Geovanni Cassali, Roberto Baracat Araújo

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