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J Clin Oncol. 1996 Mar;14(3):848-58.

Tumor size and prognosis in aggressively treated osteosarcoma.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Oncology, University of Hamburg, Germany.



The aim of this retrospective analysis was to investigate the prognostic significance and optimal measures of tumor size in osteosarcoma treated with intensive neoadjuvant chemotherapy.


Initial anterior-posterior (AP) and lateral x-ray films of 128 patients treated within the trials Cooperative Osteosarcoma Study (COSS)-80, -82, and -86, were evaluated for the following three tumor diameters: length, width, and depth. Metastasis-free survival (MFS) analyses were performed in univariate and multivariate models with one, two, and three dimensions of the tumor as absolute or relative measures (tumor length, referred to bone length, plane and volume to body-surface area).


Univariate analyses of MFS showed a high prognostic significance of all absolute measures. Relative measures, at best, showed a comparable predictive value. Cox regression analysis indicated the high prognostic significance of absolute tumor volume (ATV; P < .0001) and histologic response (P < .0001). None of 19 patients with an ATV < or = 70 cm3 and only four of 53 with an ATV < or = 150 cm3 relapsed, while in patients with an ATV more than 150 cm3, the relapse rate remained 40% to 60%, irrespective of further increase in volume.


Initial tumor size is an important and easily obtainable prognostic factor in osteosarcoma and may serve as a basis for risk-adapted therapy. It is best represented by the absolute three-dimensional measure ATV. There is a cut-off point regarding the incidence of metastases at a tumor volume of approximately 150 cm3 as calculated from two-plane x-ray films.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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