Osteosarcoma is the most frequent highly malignant bone-tumor with a peak manifestation during the second and third decade of life. Although survival rate increased up to 60-70% within the last 20 years, the problem of non-response to chemotherapy remains. Initial tumor size and response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy are the most accepted prognostic factors used for postoperative stratification of chemotherapy. The identification of patients with a bad response to therapy at the time of diagnosis would facilitate already a preoperative stratification of chemotherapy or a more aggressive regime to increase survival. This review reflects on recently described molecular markers but not on clinical parameters in human osteosarcoma with respect to their prognostic potential. This includes p53, the p-glycoprotein, the multidrug resistance gene, the humen epidermal growth factor receptor and metallothionein expression. Heat shock proteins have recently become important in osteosarcoma because of their prognostic value and their role in drug resistance. A short overview of serological markers is also given. Further results on drug resistance and survival may be provided by ongoing studies, which investigate the role of proteins of the apoptotic and antiapoptotic families in human osteosarcoma.