Ninety-seven patients with primary osteosarcoma of the extremities, all age 16 or older, were treated with adriamycin, 90 mg/m2, continuous i.v. infusion over 96 h, followed by cis-platinum, 120-160 mg/m2 by intra-arterial infusion. The first 37 patients, treated from 1979-1982, had a 59% complete response rate and a 54% 5-year continuous disease free survival (CDFS). Patients with complete response had an 85% 5-year CDFS compared with 13% for patients with partial and poor response. Patients treated between 1983-1988 with an intensified regimen have a 68% complete response rate and a 69% 3-year CDFS. Those who did not achieve complete remission were switched to an alternating chemotherapy program emphasizing the use of high-dose methotrexate. Limb salvage has been accomplished in 59% of patients in the first group and 80% in patients of the second group. Preoperative chemotherapy allows informed decisions to be made in postoperative management which can influence overall cure rates. Long-term follow-up is essential before final interpretation of the data.
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