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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

Functional outcomes and quality of life in patients with osteosarcoma treated with amputation versus limb-salvage surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

INTRODUCTION: To perform a meta-analysis for comparing the functional outcomes and quality of life (QOL) of osteosarcoma patients receiving amputation or limb-salvage surgeries.

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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

Osteosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of the bone treatment usually involves surgery to remove the tumor. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapy may also be used. Learn more about osteosarcoma and MFH of bone in this expert-reviewed summary.

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

We reviewed the evidence of the effectiveness of any medical intervention to prevent hearing loss in children with cancer treated with platinum‐based therapy (that is, including the anti‐cancer drugs cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin, or a combination of these). We also looked at anti‐cancer effectiveness, side effects other than hearing loss and quality of life.

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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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