Message Number: FHL4861 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2008-05-06 16:52:49 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Leiomyosarcoma

Different malignancies do behave differently, and the categories of tumors
even behave differently in different animals so it is impossible to generalize
from one type to another and at times impossible to generalize from one
species to another. Even location can matter, for example dermal mast cell
tumors in ferrets are very different from ones deep inside the abdomen.


J Vet Diagn Invest. 2002 May;14(3):262-5. Links
Solitary dermal leiomyosarcomas in 12 ferrets.

Mikaelian I, Garner MM.
IDEXX Veterinary Services, West Sacramento, CA 95625, USA.
Twelve 3-6-year-old ferrets (8 males, 3 females, 1 unknown) were presented with single
cutaneous nodules. These dermal tumors were characterized histologically by nodular
proliferation of neoplastic smooth muscle fibers with marked anisokaryosis and a mitotic
rate of >2 mitoses per 10 high-power fields. Neoplastic cells stained strongly for vimentin
in all tumors and for smooth muscle actin and desmin in all but 1 tumor. Histologic and
immunohistochemical findings suggested a diagnosis of piloleiomyosarcoma for these
tumors. Excision was curative in all animals available for follow-up. However, 3 of 5
animals developed adrenal disease within 7 months after removal of the dermal

Full text:

Vet Pathol. 2001 Nov;38(6):710-1. Links
Piloleiomyosarcoma in seven ferrets.

Rickman BH, Craig LE, Goldschmidt MH.
In each of seven ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with leiomyosarcoma, a single dermal mass
was identified and biopsied. Each mass consisted of a well-demarcated but
nonencapsulated proliferation of large spindle- to strap-shaped cells arranged in
interwoven bundles. The cells resembled the smooth muscle cells of the adjacent arrector
pili muscles, but with marked nuclear pleomorphism. Immunohistochemical staining for
smooth muscle actin, desmin, and vimentin was positive and staining for myoglobin and
cytokeratin was negative. Follow-up on three of the ferrets indicates that the prognosis is
good following complete surgical excision.

full text:

Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci. 2001 Jan;40(1):43-4.Links
Unusual immunophenotype of a soft tissue sarcoma in a European polecat (Mustela

Zaias J, Kornegay RW, Altman NH, Herron AJ.
University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Division of Comparative
Pathology, 1550 NW 10th Avenue, Room 105, Miami, Florida, 33136, USA.
The most commonly reported tumors in ferrets are carcinomas, followed by round cell
tumors. Soft tissue sarcomas are reported and characterized much less frequently. Because
domesticated ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are direct descendants of European polecats
(Mustela putorius), the types and prevalence of tumors are expected to be similar in the
two species. Presented here is a case report of unusual immunohistochemical staining
characteristics of an abdominal wall leiomyosarcoma in a close relative of domestic ferrets,
the European polecat. Sections of tissue were preserved in 10% buffered formalin,
embedded in paraffin, and sectioned at 5 mm. Routine staining with hematoxylin and
eosin and several immunohistochemical tests were performed to identify the tumor tissue
of origin. Although the tumor did not stain with antibody to desmin, further staining for
smooth muscle actin was consistent with a smooth muscle origin. To the authors'
knowledge, this report is the first description of a leiomyosarcoma in the European
polecat. This report emphasizes the importance of using additional secondary markers to
accurately diagnose anaplastic tumors.

Lab Anim Sci. 1990 Mar;40(2):208-10.Links
Leiomyosarcoma in a domestic ferret: morphologic and immunocytochemical diagnosis.

Brunnert SR, Herron AJ, Altman NH.
Department of Pathology, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL.
[No abstract]

J Comp Pathol. 1989 Feb;100(2):161-76. Links
Neoplasia in ferrets: eleven cases with a review.

Dillberger JE, Altman NH.
Department of Toxicology, Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Records from a veterinary diagnostic laboratory in south Florida, U.S.A. were reviewed for
cases of neoplasia in pet ferrets. Twelve ferret tumours were received over a four-year
period; one case, a ferret with lymphocytic leukaemia and multi-organ involvement, had
been reported previously. The other eleven tumours were: two chordomas of the tail, two
sebaceous adenomas of the skin, a sebaceous epithelioma of the skin, a cutaneous
mastocytoma, a malignant fibrous histiocytoma from the eyelid, a malignant
mesenchymoma and an undifferentiated sarcoma from the dorsal abdominal cavity, a
leiomyosarcoma found unattached in the abdominal cavity and an interstitial cell tumour
of the testicle. A review of the literature yielded reports of 83 other tumours in domestic
ferrets, black-footed ferrets and European polecats. Of the 95 ferret tumours, 46 were
considered malignant. Tumours occurred in all organ systems except the respiratory tract
and central nervous system. Affected ferrets ranged in age from 209 days to 12 years. The
most frequently occurring tumours were ovarian stromal tumours (24 of 95),
haemangiomas/haemangio-sarcomas (15 of 95). This information indicates that, contrary
to previous opinion, ferrets appear to be subject to a similar incidence and variety of
tumours as other animals.


THE FHL ARCHIVES (not just what is on Yahoogroups but the link from the home page of
the FHL) IS A TREASURE CHEST! From that:

BEGIN QUOTE of ferret veterinary pathology expert, Dr. Bruce Williams

Dear Julie - you are correct in that leiomyosarcomas are malignancies
of smooth muscle. These are occasionally seen in the endocrine,
gastrointestinal, and reproductive organs, and the adrenal gland is
probably the most common site overall.

These tumors are not responsible for the adrenal igns which you
noticed, but they may occur coincidentally with a functional
adrenocortical tumor. And, due to their often fiarly large size,
they may often be the only tumor seen when the adrenal is sectioned,
althouh there may be another tumor in their causing the signs. Or,
as occasionally happens, the vet's attention is drawn to these large,
non-functional tumors, and they may miss the functional adrenal tumor
on the other adrenal.

The good news is that these neoplasms, although they are technically
malignant, really do not metastasize or result in life-threatening
illness. Surgical excision should be considered curative.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM


Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:

Personal Note: Tomorrow I will go in for glaucoma surgery on my better
eye so if it is like last time the other moderators will have their hands full
and people may need to look things up for themselves and others.

Here are some resources to use for your start and there are more with links
to those in my links page and in the links section of the FHL

I'll probably be off line for a few days and then only only for little bits that
gradually increase over a space of 2 weeks.


Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: