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Volume 2012, Article ID 704872, 10 pages
Review Article

A Meta-Analysis of Osteosarcoma Outcomes in the Modern Medical Era

Division of Orthopedic Oncology, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles County Medical Center, University of Southern California, 1520 San Pablo Street, Suite 2000, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA

Received 18 October 2011; Accepted 20 December 2011

Academic Editor: Jose Casanova

Copyright © 2012 Daniel C. Allison 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.


Four decades ago, specialized chemotherapy regimens turned osteosarcoma, once considered a uniformly fatal disease, into a disease in which a majority of patients survive. Though significant survival gains were made from the 1960s to the 1980s, further outcome improvements appear to have plateaued. This study aims to comprehensively review all significant, published data regarding osteosarcoma and outcome in the modern medical era in order to gauge treatment progress. Our results indicate that published survival improved dramatically from 1960s to 1980s and then leveled, or in some measures decreased. Recurrence rates decreased in the 1970s and then leveled. In contrast, published limb salvage rates have increased significantly every recent decade until the present. Though significant gains have been made in the past, no improvement in published osteosarcoma survival has been seen since 1980, highlighting the importance of a new strategy in the systemic management of this still very lethal condition.