A Review on Mammary Tumors in Rabbits: Translation of Pathology into Medical Care
Targos Molecular Pathology GmbH, Germaniastrasse 7, 34119 Kassel, Germany
Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Leipzig University, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2019
Revised: 28 September 2019
Accepted: 29 September 2019
Published: 2 October 2019
In recent years mammary cancer has been increasingly recognized in pet rabbits. In addition to uterine carcinomas—the most common tumor of female rabbits—mammary cancer can also markedly reduce the life expectancy of pet rabbits. The aim of this review is to raise awareness for these tumors and to report recent progress in related research. Their detailed characterization will likely improve medical care for affected rabbits. Moreover, study results will contribute to comparative pathology and may reveal if the rabbit is a suitable model for certain types of breast cancer in humans. Available information suggests that most invasive cancer cases develop through stepwise progression from non-invasive forms. Thus, early recognition will likely improve a complete cancer cure. So far, the only treatment option is surgical excision and prognostic factors are unknown. Recent investigations have identified tumor features with likely prognostic value. They have also revealed differences and similarities to mammary tumors in other species and breast cancer in women. Despite these initial data, continued research is necessary to gain more insights into the development of these tumors and their molecular features.