Background: In an effort to intensify osteosarcoma therapy, systemic ifosfamide was added pre- and postoperatively to an already aggressive three-drug regimen. In a subgroup of patients, loco-regional treatment intensification was attempted by using the intraarterial route to give cisplatin.
Patients and methods: Patients < or = 40 years at diagnosis of a localised, de novo high-grade central extremity osteosarcoma were eligible for inclusion into study COSS-86 if registered within three weeks from biopsy. Doxorubicin, high-dose methotrexate, and cisplatin were given to all patients. Patients who fulfilled one or more of three defined high-risk criteria received early systemic treatment intensification by adding ifosfamide as the fourth agent. Preoperatively, these high-risk patients received cisplatin either intraarterially or intravenously.
Results: 171 eligible patients were entered, of which 128 were stratified into the high-risk group. When all 171 were analysed by intention-to-treat, actuarial overall and event-free survival rates at ten years were 72% and 66%, respectively. No benefit of intraarterial cisplatin application was detected. Cumulative treatment toxicity was considerable.
Conclusions: In a multicenter setting, intensive treatment of osteosarcoma according to protocol COSS-86 led to long-term disease-free survival for two thirds of patients. We saw no benefit of using the intraarterial route to administer cisplatin.