Survival of pediatric patients after relapsed osteosarcoma: The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital experience

Sarah E.S. Leary, Amy W. Wozniak, Catherine A. Billups, Jianrong Wu, Valerie McPherson, Michael D. Neel, Bhaskar N. Rao, Najat C. Daw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Chemotherapy has improved the outcome of patients with newly diagnosed osteosarcoma, but its role in relapsed disease is unclear. METHODS We reviewed the records of all patients who were treated for relapsed high-grade osteosarcoma at our institution between 1970 and 2004. Postrelapse event-free survival (PREFS) and postrelapse survival (PRS) were estimated, and outcome comparisons were made using an exact log-rank test. RESULTS The 10-year PREFS and PRS of the 110 patients were 11.8% ± 3.5% and 17.0% ± 4.3%, respectively. Metastasis at initial diagnosis (14%), and relapse in lung only (75%) were not significantly associated with PREFS or PRS. Time from initial diagnosis to first relapse (RL1) ≥18 months (43%), surgery at RL1 (76%), and ability to achieve second complete remission (CR2, 56%) were favorably associated with PREFS and PRS (P ≤ 0.0002). In patients without CR2, chemotherapy at RL1 was favorably associated with PREFS (P = 0.01) but not with PRS. In patients with lung relapse only, unilateral relapse and number of nodules (≤ 3) were associated with better PREFS and PRS (P ≤ 0.0005); no patients with bilateral relapse survived 10 years. The median PREFS after treatment with cisplatin, doxorubicin, methotrexate, and ifosfamide was 3.5 months (95% confidence interval, 2.1-5.2), and the median PRS was 8.2 months (95% confidence interval, 5.2-15.1). CONCLUSIONS Late relapse, surgical resection, and unilateral involvement (in lung relapse only) favorably impact outcome after relapse. Surgery is essential for survival; chemotherapy may slow disease progression in patients without CR2. These data are useful for designing clinical trials that evaluate novel agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2645-2653
Number of pages9
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013


  • chemotherapy
  • osteosarcoma
  • outcome
  • prognostic factors
  • relapse
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Survival of pediatric patients after relapsed osteosarcoma: The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this