Presurgical grading of canine cutaneous mast cell tumors

dog with mast cell tumor by eye


Status: Open and enrolling
Principal Investigator: 
Jennifer Bouschor
Davis Seelig

Dr. Bouschor
[email protected]

Dr. Seelig
[email protected]

I'm Interested

Study title

The characterization of cytology and cell block in the presurgical grading of canine cutaneous mast cell tumors

Purpose of study

Mast cell tumors are one of the most common skin tumors in dogs. These tumors may be benign (confined to one location, responsive to surgical removal) or highly malignant (recurring after removal and/or spreading locally and to distal organs). Currently, determination of the biologic behavior of these tumors is based on evaluation of tissue biopsies following surgical removal. Our study aims to improve the ability to predict tumor behavior by evaluating minimally invasive techniques that can be utilized prior to surgical removal.

This diagnostic test will aid your pet’s attending clinician in recommending follow-up medical care for your pet.

Additionally, you and your pet’s participation in this study will improve our ability to provide predictive information to clinicians and pet owners about mast cell tumors prior to surgical removal, potentially resulting in more tailored treatment options and enhanced presurgical diagnostics.

Eligibility criteria

  • Dogs with one or more previously diagnosed dermal (skin) mast cell tumor(s)
  • Scheduled for tumor removal or debulking surgery at the Veterinary Medical Center
  • Subcutaneous mast cell tumors are not included in this study


This study will only sample tumors after they are removed by the VMC surgery service.
We will take aspirates in multiple locations within the removed tumor.
The excised mast cell tumor will then be submitted for histopathology (tissue analysis) by a board-certified anatomic pathologist.


Costs for histopathology of surgically excised dermal mast cell tumor(s) will be covered by this study.
Costs associated with surgical procedures, examination fees, other diagnostics including histopathology of any other lesions or any other medical or surgical procedures done at the VMC will be incurred by the client.