Presently, the 5-year survival rate for metastatic osteosarcoma remains low despite advances in chemotherapeutics and neoadjuvant therapy. A majority of the morbidity and nearly all of the mortality in osteosarcoma rely not in the primary disease but in the metastatic disease. The pursuit of novel molecular therapies is attractive due to their targeted ability to combat metastasis. Unlike traditional chemotherapy agents, which work by targeting rapidly dividing cells, targeted therapies may spare normal cells and decrease the adverse effects of chemotherapy by targeting specific pathways. Here, we discuss key molecular pathways in osteosarcoma and their ability to be modulated for the goal of eradication of primary and metastatic disease. We focus specifically on the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) pathways.
Part of the book: Osteosarcoma