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Volume 2011, Article ID 959248, 12 pages
Review Article

The Molecular Pathogenesis of Osteosarcoma: A Review

1Department of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, St. Vincent's Hospital, SVHM, L3, Daly Wing, 35 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
2School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Victoria University, St. Albans, VIC 3021, Australia
3Sarcoma Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia

Received 15 September 2010; Accepted 21 February 2011

Academic Editor: H. Kovar

Copyright © 2011 Matthew L. Broadhead et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignancy of bone. It arises in bone during periods of rapid growth and primarily affects adolescents and young adults. The 5-year survival rate for osteosarcoma is 60%–70%, with no significant improvements in prognosis since the advent of multiagent chemotherapy. Diagnosis, staging, and surgical management of osteosarcoma remain focused on our anatomical understanding of the disease. As our knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of osteosarcoma expands, potential therapeutic targets are being identified. A comprehensive understanding of these mechanisms is essential if we are to improve the prognosis of patients with osteosarcoma through tumour-targeted therapies. This paper will outline the pathogenic mechanisms of osteosarcoma oncogenesis and progression and will discuss some of the more frontline translational studies performed to date in search of novel, safer, and more targeted drugs for disease management.