Osteosarcoma: Current treatment and a collaborative pathway to success

Michael S. Isakoff, Stefan S. Bielack, Paul Meltzer, Richard Gorlick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1039 Scopus citations


Osteosarcoma is the bone tumor that most commonly affects children, adolescents, and young adults. Before 1970, treatment primarily included surgical resection. However, the introduction of chemotherapy led to a dramatic improvement in prognosis for patients with localized osteosarcoma; long-term survival rates of less than 20% improved to 65% to 70% after the advent of multiagent chemotherapy regimens. Controversy concerning the ideal combination of chemotherapy agents ensued throughout the last quarter of the 20th century because of conflicting and often nonrandomized data. However, large cooperative group studies and international collaboration have demonstrated that the most effective regimens include the combination of high-dose methotrexate, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (MAP). The introduction of biologic agents such as muramyl tripeptide and the use of additional cytotoxic chemotherapy such as ifosfamide have not definitively improved the survival of patients with osteosarcoma. Collaborative efforts to increase understanding of the biology of osteosarcoma and the use of preclinical models to test novel agents will be critical to identify the path toward improving outcomes for patients. Once promising agents are identified, an international infrastructure exists for clinical trials. Herein, biologic, preclinical, and clinical trial efforts will be described along with future international collaborative strategies to improve outcomes for patients who develop this challenging tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3029-3035
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number27
StatePublished - Sep 20 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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