A review of targeted therapies evaluated by the pediatric preclinical testing program for osteosarcoma

Valerie B. Sampson, Richard Gorlick, Davida Kamara, E. Anders Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Osteosarcoma, the most common malignant bone tumor of childhood, is a high-grade primary bone sarcoma that occurs mostly in adolescence. Standard treatment consists of surgery in combination with multi-agent chemotherapy regimens. The development and approval of imatinib for Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and the fully human monoclonal antibody, anti-GD2, as part of an immune therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma patients have established the precedent for use of targeted inhibitors along with standard chemotherapy backbones. However, few targeted agents tested have achieved traditional clinical endpoints for osteosarcoma. Many biological agents demonstrating anti-tumor responses in preclinical and early-phase clinical testing have failed to reach response thresholds to justify randomized trials with large numbers of patients. The development of targeted therapies for pediatric cancer remains a significant challenge. To aid in the prioritization of new agents for clinical testing, the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) has developed reliable and robust preclinical pediatric cancer models to rapidly screen agents for activity in multiple childhood cancers and establish pharmacological parameters and effective drug concentrations for clinical trials. In this article, we examine a range of standard and novel agents that have been evaluated by the PPTP, and we discuss the preclinical and clinical development of these for the treatment of osteosarcoma. We further demonstrate that committed resources for hypothesis-driven drug discovery and development are needed to yield clinical successes in the search for new therapies for this pediatric disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 132
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume3 MAY
StatePublished - 2013


  • Complete response
  • Event-free survival
  • Maintained complete response
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Partial response
  • Pediatric preclinical testing program
  • Progressive disease
  • Progressive disease with growth delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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