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Virchows Arch. 2013 Jan;462(1):109-20. doi: 10.1007/s00428-012-1339-3. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Osteosarcoma of the hands and feet: a distinct clinico-pathological subgroup.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Haematology and Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Osteosarcomas of hands or feet are rare, and seemingly these cases differ in presentation and behavior compared to those in usual locations. The clinico-pathological presentation of patients with osteosarcomas of the hand or foot was studied and compared with published cases. Forty osteosarcomas were identified among 4,221 cases, representing 0.95 % of all osteosarcomas. Thirty of these were well documented. Mean age at diagnosis was 43 years (hands) and 36 years (feet) and male-female ratio was 1.2:1 and 2.0:1, respectively. In the hand, 62 % of the osteosarcomas presented in the metacarpals and 23 % in the phalanges, and only two cases occurred in the carpal bones. Distribution in the foot was tarsal bones 56 %, metatarsal bones 33 %, and phalanges 11 %.Of the cases in the hand 54 % were of high grade and of those in the foot 71 %. Survival of osteosarcomas of the hand or foot was 81 %. Only patients with high-grade osteosarcoma died of the disease. Histological grade was the only significant variable related to survival. High-grade osteosarcoma of the hand or feet should be treated similar to those in conventional sites. Osteosarcomas of hands or feet are rare and in a relative high proportion are of low grade. Survival in high-grade cases is comparable to that in conventional sites.

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