Current Concepts

Lymphoma in Dogs & Cats

Every veterinary student knows that lymphoma is the most common hematopoietic neoplasm in dogs and cats.  However, we are now recognizing that lymphoma isn’t a single clinical entity.  Rather, it is a collection of neoplastic disorders triggered by a myriad of genetic mutations and epigenetic factors that culminate in uncontrolled proliferation of lymphocytes.  Multi-institutional collaborative efforts are underway to illuminate the molecular fingerprints of canine and feline lymphomas that will allow for better understanding of the biology of lymphoma as well as improving treatment strategies and outcomes.  These benefits are likely to extend across species – even to humans as the field of comparative oncology grows.

Presentation of canine lymphoma

Figure 1. Lymphoma in dogs typically presents as generalized peripheral lymphadenopathy. Mandibular swelling due to lymph node enlargement, as shown here, often is a sign that leads clients to seek evaluation.

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