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Osteosarcoma in very young children: experience of the Cooperative Osteosarcoma Study Group.

Cancer 2010 November 16
BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to investigate presentation, treatment, and outcome in very young children with osteosarcoma.

METHODS: The authors retrospectively analyzed the data of 2706 consecutive COSS patients with newly diagnosed osteosarcoma and identified 28 (1.0%) patients aged younger than 5 years at diagnosis. Demographic, diagnostic, tumor, treatment-related variables, response, and survival data were analyzed.

RESULTS: Of the 28 preschoolers, 27 presented with high-grade central osteosarcoma of an extremity, and 1 had a secondary osteosarcoma of the orbit. This analysis focused on the 27 patients with extremity tumors. The size of the primary was large (≥one-third of the involved bone) in 20 of 27 patients. Primary metastases were detected in 4 of 27 children. All patients received multiagent chemotherapy, and 11 of 18 analyzed tumors responded well (>90% necrosis) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Limb-sparing surgery was performed in 9 cases, ablative procedures were performed in 15, and, in 3 cases, no local surgery was performed. With a median follow-up of 4 years (6.2 years for survivors), 13 patients were alive. Four patients never achieved a complete remission, and 11 developed recurrences; 14 of these 15 patients died. Five-year overall and event-free survival probabilities were 51% (standard error of the mean [SE], 10%) and 48% (SE, 10%). Better survival was correlated with good response to chemotherapy and later time period of diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Osteosarcoma is extremely rare in preschool children. These patients often have large tumors that may require mutilating resections. Prognosis is in the range of that reported for older patients.

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