Pattern of Disease Recurrence and Prognostic Factors in Patients with Osteosarcoma Treated with Contemporary Chemotherapy

Douglas S. Hawkins, Carola A.S. Arndt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The goal of the current study was to define the clinical features and outcome of recurrent osteosarcoma (OS) in children and young adults initially treated with contemporary chemotherapy. METHODS. The authors reviewed the clinical features, therapy, and outcome for 59 patients from the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center (Seattle; WA). They were diagnosed initially with OS between January 1990 and December 2000, received multiagent chemotherapy (most frequently cisplatin, doxorubicin, high-dose methotrexate, and ifosfamide), and developed disease recurrence after achieving an initial complete response (CR). RESULTS. The most common site of initial disease recurrence was the lung only (n = 36 patients), followed by distant bone (n =8 patients), combined lung and other sites (n =7 patients), and other sites (n =8 patients). The median time to first disease recurrence was 15 months (range, 2-92 months) from the initial diagnosis. Thirty patients with isolated pulmonary recurrence achieved a second CR, either with surgery alone (n = 15 patients) or surgery and salvage chemotherapy (n = 15 patients). For this group, the 4-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival rates were 7% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0-16%) and 28% (95% CI, 11-45%), respectively. For all 59 patients with recurrent OS, the 4-year DFS and overall survival rates were 6% (95% CI, 0-12%) and 23% (95% CI, 10-36%), respectively. The only factors associated with improved DFS and overall survival rates were unilateral pulmonary recurrence, solitary pulmonary nodule at recurrence, more than 24 months between the initial diagnosis and first disease recurrence, and achievement of a second CR. CONCLUSIONS. The DFS and overall survival rates for recurrent OS after contemporary therapy remained poor even for patients with isolated pulmonary recurrence. Therefore, new treatment strategies are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2447-2456
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Chemotherapy
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Recurrence
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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