Value of P-glycoprotein and clinicopathologic factors as the basis for new treatment strategies in high-grade osteosarcoma of the extremities

Massimo Serra, Katia Scotlandi, Gemma Reverter-Branchat, Stefano Ferrari, Maria C. Manara, Stefania Benini, Marina Incaprera, Franco Bertoni, Mario Mercuri, Antonio Briccoli, Gaetano Bacci, Piero Picci

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Purpose: To evaluate the prognostic value of P-glycoprotein and clinicopathologic parameters in a large series of high-grade osteosarcoma (OS) patients treated at the Rizzoli Institute. Patients and Methods: With the use of immunohistochemistry, P-grycoprotein was assessed in 149 patients with primary, nonmetastatic, high-grade OS who were homogeneously treated with chemotherapy protocols based on doxorubicin, high-dose methotrexate, and cisplatin and the addition of ifosfamide in the postoperative phase. Results: P-glycoprotein positivity was found in 47 of 149 cases (32%) and was significantly associated with a higher incidence of relapse and a worse outcome, as was age younger than 12 years and tumor volume greater then 150 ml at diagnosis. Multivariate analysis further confirmed the prognostic value of these parameters, which all were independent adverse prognostic factors. Event-free survival and proportional hazards regression analyses confirmed that overexpression of P-glycoprotein at clinical onset is the most important adverse prognostic factor for high-grade OS patients treated with these chemotherapy protocols. Conclusion: Increased P-glycoprotein levels, together with tumor volume and age, should be taken into consideration to identify, at time of diagnosis, subgroups of OS patients with a higher risk of recurrence. This subgroup identification will constitute the basis for drawing individualized treatment protocols on the basis of risk evaluation, with the aim of using more aggressive chemotherapy, or combination chemotherapy with other adjuvants, only in those patients for which more aggressive regimens are strictly necessary and warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-542
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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