Roundtable to field feline sarcoma questions

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The Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force will convene a roundtable discussion at the American Animal Hospital Association headquarters in Denver on Dec. 6. A list of questions submitted by veterinarians and cat owners will be posed to roundtable participants, and a report will appear in an upcoming issue of the JAVMA.

Since its inception in late 1996, the VAFSTF has supported studies investigating the epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of injection-site sarcomas, and disseminated information to veterinarians and the cat-owning public.

"We know a lot more about this condition now than we did back when VAFSTF was formed," said Dr. James Richards, director of the Cornell Feline Health Center, "so it seemed reasonable to assemble a group of experts to attempt to answer some of the questions veterinarians continue to pose."

Dr. Richards polled members of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and a select group of cat owners, asking them to submit questions.

"The same questions kept cropping up, over and over again, so I compiled a list of 20 or so that will be asked of the roundtable participants, just to get the conversation started," Dr. Richards said. "But I expect many others will be raised and answered during the discussion."

Although the December event is limited to roundtable members, the panel will reconvene in Minneapolis in July 2005 during the AVMA Annual Convention and World Veterinary Congress. The panel will interact with attendees then.

Roundtable participants will include members of the VAFSTF—Dr. Henry Childers, representing the AVMA; Dr. Thomas Elston, American Association of Feline Practitioners; Dr. Donna Gatewood, Department of Agriculture; Dr. Mattie Hendrick, a pathologist at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Barbara Kitchell, an oncologist at Michigan State University; Dr. Dennis Macy, an oncologist at Colorado State University; Dr. Kent McClure, Animal Health Institute; Dr. Wallace Morrison, Veterinary Cancer Society; Dr. James Richards, Cornell Feline Health Center; Dr. Link Welborn, American Animal Hospital Association; Dr. Robin Starr, VAFSTF chairperson; and Dr. Lyle Vogel, director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division.

Additional participants will be Dr. Jane Brunt, Cat Hospital at Towson, Md.; Dr. Larry Glickman, Purdue University; Dr. Phil Kass, University of California-Davis; Dr. Margy McEntee, Cornell University; Dr. Larry McGill, ARUP Laboratories, associated with the University of Utah; and Ronald Schultz, PhD, University of Wisconsin.