Osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma: Clinical aspects, biomarker discovery and liquid biopsy

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2021 Jun:162:103340. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2021.103340. Epub 2021 Apr 22.


Bone sarcomas, although rare, are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The most frequent primary bone cancers include osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. The treatment approaches are heterogeneous and mainly chosen based on precise tumour staging. Unfortunately, clinical outcome has not changed significantly in over 30 years and tumour grade is still the best prognosticator of metastatic disease and survival. An option to improve this scenario is to identify molecular biomarkers in the early stage of the disease, or even before the disease onset. Blood-based liquid biopsies are a promising, non-invasive way to achieve this goal and there are an increasing number of studies which investigate their potential application in bone cancer diagnosis, prognosis and personalised therapy. This review summarises the interplay between clinical and molecular aspects of the three main bone sarcomas, alongside biomarker discovery and promising applications of liquid biopsy in each tumour context.

Keywords: Bone sarcomas; Chondrosarcoma; Ewing sarcoma; Liquid biopsy; Osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Bone Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Chondrosarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy
  • Osteosarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Osteosarcoma* / therapy
  • Sarcoma, Ewing* / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma, Ewing* / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Ewing* / therapy