Multidrug resistance and malignancy in human osteosarcoma

Katia Scotlandi, Massimo Serra, Giordano Nicoletti, Monica Vaccari, Maria Cristina Manara, Giuseppe Nini, Lorena Landuzzi, Annamaria Colacci, Gaetano Bacci, Franco Bertoni, Piero Picci, Mario Campanacci, Nicola Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In osteosarcoma, resistance to chemotherapy and metastatic spread are the most important mechanisms responsible for the failure of current multimodal therapeutic programs. We have shown previously that overexpression of the MDR1 gene product P-glycoprotein is the most important predictor of an adverse clinical course in patients with osteosarcoma treated with chemotherapy. In this study, we analyzed the relationship between P- glycoprotein expression and local aggressiveness and systemic dissemination of multidrug-resistant (MDR) human osteosarcoma cells. Compared to parental sensitive cells, MDR cells showed a decreased tumorigenicity and metastatic ability in athymic mice, together with a reduced migratory and invasive ability and a lower homotypic adhesion ability in vitro, suggesting that P- glycoprotein overexpression is associated with a less malignant phenotype. These experimental observations were confirmed by clinical data. In fact, the time of appearance of lung metastases in a series of osteosarcoma patients treated with chemotherapy was significantly shorter in the group of cases with no expression of P-glycoprotein in the primary lesion compared to the group with P-glycoprotein overexpression. Moreover, the incidence of P- glycoprotein overexpression was found to be higher among patients with localized disease at the clinical onset than in patients with evidence of metastasis at the time of diagnosis. These data indicate that, in osteosarcoma, the MDR phenotype is not associated with a more aggressive behavior both in vitro and in clinical settings, suggesting that the previously shown association of the MDR phenotype with a worse outcome in osteosarcoma is not related to a higher metastatic ability of cells with P- glycoprotein overexpression but is more likely due to their lack of responsiveness to cytotoxic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2434-2439
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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