Osteosarcoma is the most common primary cancer of the bone and third most common cancer in children and adolescents with approximately 900 new cases annually in the United States. A major facet of osteosarcoma is its high level of genomic instability, in particular chromosomal instability, which is the result of increased or decreased chromosome number in a cell. Furthermore, pain is the most common symptomatic feature of osteosarcoma that lacks effective therapy. Pain in osteosarcoma is relatively more complicated than many other painful conditions requiring a more thorough understanding of its etiology, pathobiology, and neurobiology to allow the development of better therapies for reducing pain in osteosarcoma patients. Studies are underway to define the diverse modalities of presentation, growth, development, metastases, and nociception in osteosarcoma. New data from human studies in combination with data from studies incorporating transgenic mouse models of osteosarcoma are providing valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying the development of both the tumor and the tumor-induced pain. These new data will undoubtedly lead to improved prognoses, as well as the development of novel therapeutics that will significantly decrease bone cancer pain.
Part of the book: Osteosarcoma