Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Osteosarcoma of the Extremities in Preadolescent Patients: The Rizzoli Institute Experience

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Medical records of 133 patients, 10 years old or younger with primary high-grade nonmetastatic osteosarcoma of the extremities treated at the Rizzoli Institute between 1983 and 1999 with neoadjuvant chemotherapy were reviewed and compared with those of 782 patients aged 11 to 40 years treated in the same period with the same chemotherapy protocols. In comparison to the older group, the younger group had more females, more patients with normal lactic dehydrogenase levels, and more non–limb-salvage procedures (amputation or rotationplasty). Five-year event-free and overall survivals were essentially the same in the two groups (63% and 71% vs. 60% and 70%) as were the patients rescued after relapse and presently event-free (18% vs. 20%). The authors conclude that there does not seem to be any indication to treat preadolescent primary high-grade nonmetastatic osteosarcoma patients by alternative and/or more aggressive therapies.

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