Background: Local recurrence (LR) in osteosarcoma is associated with very poor prognosis. We sought to evaluate which factors correlate with LR in patients who achieved complete surgical remission with adequate margins.
Patients and methods: We analyzed 1355 patients with previously untreated high-grade central osteosarcoma of the extremities, the shoulder and the pelvis registered in neoadjuvant Cooperative Osteosarcoma Study Group trials between 1986 and 2005. Seventy-six patients developed LR.
Results: Median follow-up was 5.56 years. No participation in a study, pelvic tumor site, limb-sparing surgery, soft tissue infiltration beyond the periosteum, poor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, failure to complete the planned chemotherapy protocol and biopsy at a center other than the one performing the tumor resection were significantly associated with a higher LR rate. No differences were found for varying surgical margin widths. Surgical treatment at centers with small patient volume and additional surgery in the primary tumor area, other than biopsy and tumor resection, were significantly associated with a higher rate of ablative surgery.
Conclusions: Patient enrollment in clinical trials and performing the biopsy at experienced institutions capable of undertaking the tumor resection without compromising the oncological and functional outcome should be pursued in the future.