Angiogenesis in canine mammary tumours (CMTs) has been described previously; however, only the intratumoural (IT) region has been studied and information on peritumoural (PT) angiogenesis is lacking. In this study, the blood vessel density (BVD), blood vessel perimeter (BVP) and blood vessel area (BVA) in IT and PT regions of 56 benign CMTs, 55 malignant CMTs and 13 samples of normal mammary gland tissue were analyzed. In addition, the blood endothelial cell proliferation (BECP) as an indicator of ongoing angiogenesis was investigated. The prognostic value of each parameter was also examined. Blood vessels and proliferating blood endothelial cells were present in IT and PT regions of both benign and malignant tumours. The vessels in the PT region had a significantly higher area and perimeter compared with those in the IT region. Malignant tumours showed significantly more vessels with a smaller total BVA and a higher BECP compared with benign tumours and control tissue. In the PT regions there was a significantly higher BVD, BVA and BVP compared with the vessels in control tissue. Only the IT and PT BVD and PT BECP in benign tumours allowed prediction of survival. The morphology of blood vessels in CMTs shows similarities with those in human breast cancer, which strengthens the case for the use of dogs with CMTs in comparative oncology trials.

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Journal of Comparative Pathology
Department of Virology

Sleeckx, N., van Brantegem, L., van den Eynden, G., Fransen, E., Casteleyn, C., van Cruchten, S., … van Ginneken, C. (2013). Angiogenesis in Canine Mammary Tumours: A Morphometric and Prognostic Study. Journal of Comparative Pathology. doi:10.1016/j.jcpa.2013.09.005