Can cure in patients with osteosarcoma be achieved exclusively with chemotherapy and abrogation of surgery?
GROUND: Contemporary therapy for osteosarcoma is comprised of initial treatment with chemotherapy and surgical extirpation of the primary tumor in the affected bone. In view of the major advances forged by chemotherapy in the treatment of the primary tumor, an attempt was made to destroy the tumor exclusively with this therapeutic modality and abrogate surgery. METHODS: Thirty-one consecutive patients were treated. All had localized disease (absence of metastases) at the time of diagnosis. Initial treatment with chemotherapy was comprised of high-dose methotrexate and leucovorin rescue (MTX-LF) in 3 patients and intraarterial cisplatin in 28 patients. Clinical, radiologic, angiographic, radionuclide, and histologic investigations were utilized to assess the efficacy of treatment. After a response at 3 months, entry into the study was permitted and treatment was maintained for a total of 18-21 months with a combination of agents comprised of MTX-LF, intraarterial cisplatin, and doxorubi