A neoadjuvant chemotherapy protocol (1/93-1/95) for extremity osteosarcoma preoperatively using high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) as single agent per cycle and three different combinations of other drugs (CDP/IFO,CDP/ADM,IFO/ADM) is reported. The four drugs were used postoperatively as single agents. Treatment was uniform, but suspended earlier if total necrosis was attained. An improvement was found in the results of the previous study using only IFO postoperatively, with 16/119 patients (97%) avoiding amputation, and 38 (32%) attaining complete necrosis. At a 3-year (2-4 years) mean follow-up, 92 patients (76%) remained continuously disease-free, 2 died of chemotherapy-related toxicity and 25 suffered relapse. Projected 3-year DFS also improved (75% vs. 600%; p = 0.04). Despite limb salvage, local recurrences (6.3%) and infections were few, although postoperative chemotherapy was restarted within a week. Therefore, until new effective drugs are found, expertise in using the four known drugs may improve cure rate and help to avoid amputation in almost all patients.
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