, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 67-80
Date: 01 May 2008

Bone Tumors in Adolescents and Young Adults

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Opinion statement

Bone tumors, particularly osteosarcomas and members of the Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors (ESFT), are typical malignancies of adolescents and young adults. Current diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for patients of all ages were developed in this specific age group. The aim of bone sarcoma therapy should be to cure the patient from both the primary tumor and all (micro-)metastatic deposits while maintaining as much (extremity) function and causing as few treatment-specific late effects as possible. Bone sarcoma therapy requires close multidisciplinary cooperation. Usually, it consists of induction chemotherapy, followed by local therapy of the primary tumor (and, if present, primary metastases) and further, adjuvant chemotherapy. Local treatment for osteosarcoma should be surgery whenever feasible. Surgery is also gaining importance in ESFT, which was long considered a domain of radiotherapy. Modern reconstructive techniques continue to expand the indications for limb salvage, particularly for patients who have not yet reached skeletal maturity. Treatment within the framework of prospective, multi-institutional trials should be considered standard of care not only for children, but also for affected adolescents and (young) adults. Such trials are essential in guaranteeing that all patients have access to appropriate care and that progress from biological studies can be translated into prognostic improvements without undue delay. The rarity of bone sarcomas increasingly requires trials to be multinational.