Is spindle cell sarcoma curable?

Spindle cell sarcoma in the dog

Spindle cell sarcomas are locally invasive tumors that have clinical and patho-histological features in common. Spindle cell tumors include fibrosarcomas, myxosarcomas, liposarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, neurofibrosarcomas and undifferentiated and pleomorphic sarcomas. Often the pathologist can no longer determine the original tissue exactly, which is why the term “spindle cell sarcoma” - also known as soft tissue sarcoma - has become established.

The spindle cell tumors can occur anywhere in the body - but especially in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. They tend to have a locally infiltrating growth. The tumor forms a pseudocapsule. This simulates a good delimitation from the surrounding tissue, but often extends into the surrounding tissue via microsatellites. Therefore, the spindle cell sarcoma should always be removed over a large area so that these microscopic extensions can also be removed.

Depending on the histological differentiation, there is an increased risk of metastasis, especially in the lungs and the lymph vessels and nodes.

Patho-histological classification of spindle cell tumors

The pathologist uses a 3-stage graduation in the assessment of spindle cell tumors, which was developed by McSporran:

  • A Differentiation of the tumor
    • 1 = sarcoma resembles the tissue of origin
    • 2 = poorly differentiated sarcoma with (still) recognizable original tissue
    • 3 = undifferentiated sarcoma
  • B Mitotic index (cell division index) - in 10 fields of view
    • 1 = 0-9
    • 2 = 10 – 19
    • 3 = more than 19
  • C tumor necrosis
    • 0 = no necrosis
    • 1 = up to 50% necrosis
    • 2 = more than 50% necrosis

The histological grade of the spindle cell sarcoma results from the sum of the individual values ​​A + B + C:

  • Grade 1 to 3
  • Grade 2 4 - 5
  • Grade 3 more than 5

Therapy of spindle cell sarcoma

The method of choice is surgical removal of the spindle cell sarcoma. In the event of recurrences, follow-up surgery should be carried out. Radiation and chemotherapy are used only with low sensitivity in spindle cell disease. In contrast, treatment with dendritic cells can also be used in the event of a relapse.

Study of spindle cell sarcoma in dogs

We are currently conducting a study on soft tissue sarcoma in dogs at the Animal Health Center in the South Harz Mountains. The aim of the study is to show that dendritic cell therapy can reduce the likelihood of recurrence and metastasis in soft tissue sarcoma. Learn more.

Contact Person

Contact: 05522-90060 or [email protected]


Dr. Lukas Grammel
Specialized veterinarian for anesthesiology, intensive care medicine and pain therapy
Main emphasis: Surgical interventions, especially in patients with comorbidities (e.g. heart problems)

Dr. Thomas Grammel
Experience with immunological tumor treatments for over 20 years
main emphasis
: Advice and implementation of dendritic cell therapy.