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Although relatively rare, osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer that occurs in children and adolescents. The disease can develop at any age but mostly occurs in children, adolescents and young adults, with adolescents being the most commonly affected age group.

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What is Osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma, also known as osteogenic sarcoma, typically starts in osteoblasts, which are the cells that form new bone. This difficult-to-treat cancer usually forms in the ends of the long bones of the body, including those of the arms and legs. In children and adolescents, osteosarcoma often begins in the long bones near the knee. Rarely, osteosarcoma starts in soft tissue or organs in the abdomen or chest.

What Are the Symptoms of Osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma symptoms include:

  • Swelling or a lump over a bone or bony part of the body
  • Pain in a bone or joint
  • A bone that breaks without a known cause
  • Increased pain in the affected area during activity or at night

The signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma can be caused by other health conditions. Be sure to take your child to see a healthcare provider if they experience any of these symptoms.

Why Choose Rainbow for the Treatment of Osteosarcoma?

The pediatric oncologists at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute are passionate about improving the outcomes for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. We are at the forefront of the latest advancements in childhood cancer treatments, with outcomes that rank among the best in the country. Angie’s Institute, which is fully integrated with UH Seidman Cancer Center and the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, offers a nationally renowned osteosarcoma treatment program that encompasses routine and complex care for every stage of the disease.

Young patients treated at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s for osteosarcoma have access to:

  • Advanced minimally invasive surgery options
  • Targeted chemotherapy of osteosarcoma cells
  • Proton therapy
  • Clinical trials offering access to novel therapies and the latest treatment options for osteosarcoma, including immunotherapeutic approaches

New Hope Through Immunotherapy

The Center for Pediatric Immunotherapy at Angie’s Institute was established to advance the application of immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer and other medical conditions in babies, children, adolescents and young adults. Immunotherapy shows great promise in treating childhood cancers such as osteosarcoma and reducing the damaging, long-term side effects associated with traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

In the area of immunogenic osteosarcoma treatment, the Center for Pediatric Immunotherapy’s current research endeavors include exploration into the use of a component of oat bran in halting tumor growth in mouse models of osteosarcoma and certain other cancers. In addition, our pediatric cancer specialists intend to launch a Phase I clinical trial in the first quarter of 2022 to examine the effectiveness of a natalizumab – a humanized monoclonal antibody – to treat recurrent, refractory and progressive pulmonary metastatic osteosarcoma.

Diagnosis & Treatments

At UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we use leading-edge diagnostics and are developing novel therapies to care for children, adolescents and young adults with osteosarcoma.

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