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December's top picks from JFMS  

Evaluation of long-term outcome and prognostic factors of feline squamous cell carcinomas treated with photodynamic therapy using liposomal phosphorylated meta-tetra(hydroxylphenyl)chlorine
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are frequently occurring skin tumours in cats. The spectrum of lesions ranges clinically and histologically from actinic keratosis to carcinoma in situ to invasive SCC. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive treatment modality, which involves the use of a photosensitiser, light and endogenous molecular oxygen to kill cancer cells. PDT using Foslip (Biolitec) or phosphorylated meta-tetra(hydroxylphenyl)chlorine (mTHPC), a second-generation photosensitiser, is one of the most common systemic sensitisers for cats studied to date and a good tolerability has been described. In this study, 38 cats with 63 histologically verified SCCs of the head and neck received an intravenous injection of liposomal mTHPC and 4 h later 652 nm of light was delivered by a diode laser, either at ⩽10 J/cm2 or 20 J/cm2. Overall response rate was 84% (complete remission 61%, partial remission 22%) with a mean progression-free interval of 35 months and a median overall survival time of 40 months. The authors conclude that PDT using a systemic photosensitiser leads to excellent long-term tumour control in the majority of cats. However, invasive and large tumours had an inferior outcome, even if treated with the higher-dose intensity. This suggests that advanced lesions are not indications for PDT.

Repeated measurements of renal function in evaluating its decline in cats
Important clinical applications of renal function testing include early detection of renal dysfunction and monitoring for progressive disease. Considering the limitations of using reference intervals and specific cut-offs to define if a patient has normal or abnormal renal function and the insensitivity of single measurements of creatinine for early kidney disease, repeated measurements in which each patient serves as its own control may provide more clinically useful information when evaluating changes in renal function. This requires knowledge of the normal variability in measurement between two time points. It also allows more dynamic rather than static assessment of renal function. Furthermore, an increase in creatinine concentration or decrease in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) greater than the expected variability in cats with stable chronic kidney disease (CKD) may suggest more progressive CKD and prompt the clinician to change the management plan or monitor the cat more closely. The aim of this study was to describe the variability in renal function markers in non-azotaemic and azotaemic cats, and also the rate of change in the markers. Plasma creatinine concentration and its reciprocal, GFR and urine specific gravity (USG) were studied as markers of renal function in 29 cats, five of which had azotaemic CKD. The authors concluded that the within-individual variability data suggest creatinine concentration to be the more useful marker for serial monitoring of renal function in azotaemic cats; in contrast, GFR is a more useful marker for serial monitoring of renal function in non-azotaemic cats. 

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JFMS Open Reports
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