Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumour of bone. Currently, despite treatment with multi-agent chemotherapy and limb salvage surgery, the five-year survival rate for osteosarcoma remains at 70%. The pathogenesis of osteosarcoma is complex and involves alterations in cellular apoptosis, adhesion, migration, invasion and molecular signalling. Research most recently has focused on the molecular basis of the disease with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets. To this end, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified to play a role in sarcomagenesis. MSC transformation may give rise to tumours, whereas interactions of MSCs with osteosarcoma cells in the tumour microenvironment may cause increased cell proliferation. This is in stark contrast to the role of MSCs as a promising source for tissue repair and regeneration. In order to utilize MSCs for biological reconstruction in the setting of osteosarcoma, further research is necessary to delineate the role of MSCs in osteosarcoma transformation and progression.
Part of the book: Osteosarcoma