Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Therapeutics: anti-neoplastic agent

Synonym(s): Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic agent

Contributor(s): Laura Garrett, Lauren Trepanier, Isabelle Desmas-Bazelle


  • Most cytotoxic agents act upon process of cell growth and division: potent and potentially dangerous.
Do not use without consulting a specialist oncologist.Refer to chemotherapy safety administration  Chemotherapy: safe handling.
  • Indications and goal of therapy: 
    • Primary induction chemotherapy: for lymphoproliferative Lymphoproliferative disease and myeloproliferative tumor disorders (hematopoietic cancers) or for a palliative role in advanced/metastatic cancers with no alternative treatment options.  
    • Primary neoadjuvant chemotherapy: to decrease tumor size and/or clinical stage prior to surgery and/or radiotherapy. 
    • Adjuvant treatment: after surgery and/or radiotherapy (to treat residual tumor cells or micrometastasis).

Cytotoxic drugs

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Other cytotoxic drugs

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Smith A N, Klahn S, Phillips B, Parshley L, Bennett P (2018) ACVIM small animal consensus statement on safe use of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics in veterinary practice. J Vet Intern Med 32(3), 904-913 PubMed Full Article
  • Biller B, Berg J, Garrett L et al (2016) AAHA oncology guidelines for dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 52, 182-204 PubMed Full Article.
  • Bailey D B, Rassnick K M, Prey J D, Dykes N L (2009) Evaluation of Serum Iohexol Clearance for Use in Predicting Carboplatin Clearance in Cats. Am J Vet Res 70(9), 1135-1140 PubMed
  • Rassnick K M, Gieger T L, Williams L E et al (2001) Phase I evaluation of CCNU (lomustine) in tumor-bearing cats. J Vet Intern Med 15 (3), 196-199 PubMed.
  • Fox L E (2000) Carboplatin. JAAHA 36 (1), 13-14 PubMed.
  • Hahn K A, McEntee M F, Daniel G B et al (1997) Hematologic and systemic toxicoses associated with carboplatin administration in cats. Am J Vet Res 58 (6), 677-679 PubMed.
  • Hahn K A, Fletcher C M, Legendre A M (1996) Marked neutropenia in five tumor-bearing cats one week following single-agent vincristine sulfate chemotherapy. Vet Clin Pathol 25 (4), 121-123 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Gustafson D L, Bailey D B (2020) Cancer chemotherapy. In: Small animal clinical oncology. 6th edn. Eds Withrow & MacEwen’s. Elsevier Saunders, St. Louis. pp 182-208. 
  • Vail D M (1997) Advances in chemotherapy. In: Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine 3. Ed: J R August. Philadelphia: W B Saunders Co. pp 527-533. ISBN 0 7216 5814 8.
  • Bishop Y M (1996) Ed The Veterinary Formulary. Handbook of Medicines used in Veterinary Practice. 3rd edn. London: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and British Veterinary Association. pp 327-336. ISBN 0 85369 345 5.