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Paediatr Drugs. 2008;10(5):315-27.

Therapy for osteosarcoma: where do we go from here?

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.

Abstract

Osteosarcoma is the most common malignant primary bone tumor in children and adolescents. Current optimal treatment for osteosarcoma consists of multi-agent chemotherapy and aggressive surgical resection of all sites of disease involvement. The current national and international cooperative trial for patients with newly diagnosed osteosarcoma builds upon the backbone of cisplatin, doxorubicin, and methotrexate. This protocol is designed to clarify whether (i) the addition of ifosfamide and etoposide to postoperative chemotherapy with cisplatin, doxorubicin, and methotrexate improves the event-free survival and overall survival for patients with resectable osteosarcoma and a poor histologic response to 10 weeks of preoperative chemotherapy; and (ii) the addition of pegylated interferon-alpha-2b as maintenance therapy after postoperative chemotherapy with cisplatin, doxorubicin, and methotrexate improves the event-free survival and overall survival for patients with resectable osteosarcoma and a good histologic response to 10 weeks of preoperative chemotherapy. However, the optimal treatment strategy (or strategies) for patients with relapsed or metastatic disease has yet to be defined. This remains one of the persistent challenges in the treatment of osteosarcoma. Recent therapeutic advances have focused on circumventing chemotherapy resistance mechanisms, incorporation of non-classical agents into upfront therapy, targeting of the tumor micro-environment, and investigating the role of novel delivery mechanisms. In patients with localized disease the 5-year survival rate is at least 70%; patients with metastatic or recurrent disease have <20% chance of long-term survival despite aggressive therapies. These figures have changed little in the past 2 decades. This review focuses on the current therapy for osteosarcoma, and highlights emerging strategies that will hopefully change the outlook for patients with this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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