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Osteosarcoma

A cancer of the bone that usually affects the large bones of the arm or leg. It occurs most commonly in young people and affects more males than females.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of the bone are diseases in which malignant (cancer) cells form in bone.

Osteosarcoma usually starts in osteoblasts, which are a type of bone cell that becomes new bone tissue. Osteosarcoma is most common in teenagers. It commonly forms in the ends of the long bones of the body, which include bones of the arms and legs. In children and teenagers, it often forms in the bones near the knee. Rarely, osteosarcoma may be found in soft tissue or organs in the chest or abdomen.

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of bone is a rare tumor of the bone. It is treated like osteosarcoma... Read more about Osteosarcoma

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Methotrexate for high‐grade osteosarcoma in children and young adults

As a result of the introduction of chemotherapy, the survival of children with osteosarcoma has improved dramatically. The majority of the currently used treatment protocols are based on a combination of doxorubicin, cisplatin, methotrexate (MTX) and/or ifosfamide, of which MTX seems to be one of the most active drugs. However, in the literature, this has not been unambiguously proven. A well‐informed decision on the use of MTX in the treatment of children and young adults diagnosed with primary high‐grade osteosarcoma should be based on high quality evidence on both antitumour effects and adverse effects.

High-dose versus moderate-dose chemotherapy for osteosarcoma: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Li T X, Bai J P, Xilin B, Jiang R B, He Z S, Huang W M, Wu T X.  High-dose versus moderate-dose chemotherapy for osteosarcoma: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2006; 6(11): 826-832

Prognostic significance of VEGF expression in osteosarcoma: a meta-analysis

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is considered as a prime mediator of angiogenesis and has been implicated in carcinogenesis and metastasis. Various studies examined the relationship between VEGF overexpression with the clinical outcome in patients with osteosarcoma but yielded conflicting results. Electronic databases updated to April 2013 were searched to find relevant studies. A meta-analysis was conducted with eligible studies which quantitatively evaluated the relationship between VEGF overexpression and survival of patients with osteosarcoma. Survival data were aggregated and quantitatively analyzed. We performed a meta-analysis of eight studies that evaluated the correlation between VEGF overexpression and survival in patients with osteosarcoma. Combined hazard ratios suggested that VEGF overexpression had an unfavorable impact on overall survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.75, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.21-2.28) in patients with osteosarcoma for overall populations, 2.37 (1.35-3.39) in Asian studies but not in non-Asian studies (HR = 1.51, 95% CI: 0.89-2.14). No significant heterogeneity was observed among all studies. VEGF overexpression indicates a poor prognosis for patients with osteosarcoma. However, the prognostic value of VEGF on survival in osteosarcoma patients still needs further large-scale prospective trials to be clarified.

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Summaries for consumers

Methotrexate for high‐grade osteosarcoma in children and young adults

As a result of the introduction of chemotherapy, the survival of children with osteosarcoma has improved dramatically. The majority of the currently used treatment protocols are based on a combination of doxorubicin, cisplatin, methotrexate (MTX) and/or ifosfamide, of which MTX seems to be one of the most active drugs. However, in the literature, this has not been unambiguously proven. A well‐informed decision on the use of MTX in the treatment of children and young adults diagnosed with primary high‐grade osteosarcoma should be based on high quality evidence on both antitumour effects and adverse effects.

Osteosarcoma and Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of osteosarcoma/malignant fibrous histiocytoma of bone.

Drugs to prevent hearing loss in children receiving platinum chemotherapy for cancer

Platinum‐based chemotherapy, including cisplatin, carboplatin and/or oxaliplatin, is used in the treatment of different types of childhood cancer. Unfortunately, one of the most important adverse effects of platinum chemotherapy is hearing loss. This can occur not only during treatment but also years after the end of treatment. Although hearing loss is not life‐threatening the loss of hearing, especially during the first three years of life, may lead to difficulties with school performance and psychosocial functioning. Prevention of platinum‐induced hearing loss is thus very important and might improve the quality of life of childhood cancer patients and survivors treated with platinum‐based chemotherapy.

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Terms to know

Bone
A living, growing tissue made mostly of collagen.
Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH)
A soft tissue sarcoma that usually occurs in the limbs, most commonly the legs, and may also occur in the abdomen.
Osteoblasts
Cells that synthesize bone. In the process of bone formation, osteoblasts function in groups of connected cells.
Sarcoma
A cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

More about Osteosarcoma

Photo of a young adult man

Also called: Osteogenic sarcoma, Osteoblastic osteosarcoma, Osteoblastic sarcoma, Osteochondrosarcoma

Other terms to know: See all 4
Bone, Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH), Osteoblasts

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