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Volume 2013, Article ID 767960, 8 pages
Research Article

Do Malignant Bone Tumors of the Foot Have a Different Biological Behavior than Sarcomas at Other Skeletal Sites?

1Orthopaedic Department, Basel University Childrens Hospital (UKBB), Spitalstrasse 33, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
2Bone Tumor Reference Center at the Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland

Received 7 September 2012; Accepted 22 January 2013

Academic Editor: Hans Rechl

Copyright © 2013 M. Brotzmann 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.


We analyze the delay in diagnosis and tumor size of malignant bone tumors of the foot in a retrospective study. We compared the oncological and surgical long-term results with identical tumor at other anatomical sites in order to analyze the biological behavior of sarcomas that are found in the foot. Thirty-two patients with a histologically proven malignant bone tumor (fifteen chondrosarcomas, nine osteosarcomas, and eight Ewing sarcomas) between the years 1969 and 2008 were included. The median follow-up was 11.9 years. The overall median time gap between the beginning of symptoms and diagnosis in the study group was 10 months. Ewing sarcoma presented with the longest delay in diagnosis (median of 18 months), followed by osteosarcoma (median of 15 months) and chondrosarcoma (median of 7.5 months). The delay in diagnosis of these tumors was significantly longer than that of equivalent tumors at other skeletal sites, but the 5- and 10-year survival rates and the occurrence of distant metastases were comparable. In contrast, the average size of foot tumors was 5- to 30-fold less than that of tumors analyzed at other skeletal sites. This study indicates that sarcomas of the foot demonstrate a distinct biological behavior compared to the same tumor types at other skeletal sites.