Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common malignant primary bone tumor in children and adolescents and features rapid development, strong metastatic ability, and poor prognosis. It has been well established that diverse genetic aberrations and metabolic alterations confer the tumorigenesis and development of OS. The intricate metabolism and vascularization that contributes to the nutrient and structural support for tumor progression should be thoroughly clarified to help us gain novel insights into OS and its clinical diagnoses and treatments. With regard to the complex bone extracellular matrix (ECM) and local cell populations, we intend to illustrate the interrelationship between various microenvironmental signals and the different stages of OS evolution. Solid evidence has noted two crucial factors of the OS microenvironment in the acquisition of stem cell phenotypes - transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) signaling and hypoxia. Different cell subtypes in the local environment might also serve as unique contributors that interact with each other and communicate with distant cells, thus participating in local invasion and metastasis. Proper models have been established and improved to reveal the evolutionary footsteps of how normal cells transform into a neoplastic state and progress toward malignancy.
Part of the book: Osteosarcoma