Small cell osteosarcoma. A clinicopathologic study of 27 cases

Alberto G. Ayala, Jae Y. Ro, A. Kevin Raymond, Norman Jaffe, Sant Chawla, Humberto Carrasco, Michael Link, Jorge Jimenez, Jack Edeiken, Sidney Wallace, John A. Murray, Robert Benjamin

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61 Scopus citations


We report a study of 27 patients with small cell osteosarcoma (SCO), 17 from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDAH) and ten from the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG). There were 12 male patients and 15 female patients; 19 were white, five were black, and three were Hispanic. They ranged from 6 to 28 years of age with a median of 14 years. Histologically there were three patterns: Ewing's-like, lymphoma-like, and spindle cell. All cases showed osteoid formation and a few had chondroid areas. There was cytoplasmic glycogen in ten cases. Initial treatment for MDAH patients included intraarterial infusion of cisplatin in ten, amputation in four, partial mandibulectomies in two, and biopsy with local radiotherapy and systemic chemotherapy in one. All POG patients had resection or amputatio followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Twelve patients are alive, of whom nine have had significant follow-ups for 25 to 90 months. Fourteen patients are dead of lung, spine, and brain metastases from 1 to 23 months after initial diagnosis. One patient is alive with lung relapse at 4 months. In summary, SCO is a high-grade variant of osteosarcoma, with an incidence of up to 4% of all osteosarcomas, that affects patients of the same age group and has the same anatomic location as conventional osteosarcoma. Currently, SCO appears to have a prognosis that is the same as or slightly worse than that of conventional osteosarcoma. Furthermore, although intraarterial infusion is effective for the primary tumors in the bone, distant metastases are difficult to control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2162-2173
Number of pages12
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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