Advances in emerging drugs for osteosarcoma

Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2015 Sep;20(3):495-514. doi: 10.1517/14728214.2015.1051965. Epub 2015 Jun 1.


Introduction: Osteosarcoma (OS), the most common primary malignant bone tumor, is currently treated with pre- and postoperative chemotherapy in association with the surgical removal of the tumor. Conventional treatments allow to cure about 60 - 65% of patients with primary tumors and only 20 - 25% of patients with recurrent disease. New treatment approaches and drugs are therefore highly warranted to improve prognosis.

Areas covered: This review focuses on the therapeutic approaches that are under development or clinical evaluation in OS. Information was obtained from different and continuously updated data bases, as well as from literature searches, in which particular relevance was given to reports and reviews on new targeted therapies under clinical investigation in high-grade OS.

Expert opinion: OS is a heterogeneous tumor, with a great variability in treatment response between patients. It is therefore unlikely that a single therapeutic tool will be uniformly successful for all OS patients. This claims for the validation of new treatment approaches together with biologic/(pharmaco)genetic markers, which may select the most appropriate subgroup of patients for each treatment approach. Since some promising novel agents and treatment strategies are currently tested in Phase I/II/III clinical trials, we may hope that new therapies with superior efficacy and safety profiles will be identified in the next few years.

Keywords: drug resistance; osteosarcoma; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; tailored therapy; targeted drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Osteosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Osteosarcoma / surgery
  • Patient Selection
  • Prognosis


  • Antineoplastic Agents