Vaccination-site sarcomas in cats in New Zealand

Vaccination-site sarcomas in cats in New Zealand
Peer reviewed


First described in North America in 1991, vaccine-associated sarcomas (VASs) are aggressive mesenchymal tumours that can develop at feline injection sites a variable period following vaccination. Although it is suspected that vaccine-associated sarcomas occur in cats in New Zealand, there is a lack of data to support this. A retrospective study was performed examining the anatomical location, histology and immunohistochemistry of 34 soft tissue sarcomas from cats in New Zealand. Ten of the 34 (29%) sarcomas identified were from locations used for vaccination. Compared with non-vaccination-site sarcomas (NVSSs), vaccination-site sarcomas (VSSs) were more likely to be located in the subcutis and have a higher histological grade, reflecting their poorer differentiation, greater intra-tumoural necrosis and higher mitotic rates. VSSs were also more likely than NVSSs to contain prominent peripheral lymphocytic aggregates and multinucleated giant cells, and to show a partial myofibroblast differentiation demonstrable using immunohistochemistry. Many of the histological and immunohistochemical features of VSSs in cats in New Zealand are similar to those reported in feline VASs in studies in North America, suggesting that VASs occur in cats in New Zealand.

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