Targeting Osteosarcoma Cancer Stem Cells

by Msoy on April 6, 2017 - 11:56pm

Miles Soyer



Targeting the osteosarcoma cancer stem cell




Osteosarcoma is a rare form of cancer that develops in long solid bones like the distal femur and proximal tibia[1].  Osteogenic sarcoma is posited to form from osteoprogenitor stem cells which have pursued alternative osteoblast differentiation pathways and cause the formation of malignant tumors, soft tissue masses and lastly osteoblast damage along the bone.  Siclari et al. investigated the gene expression of osteosarcoma tumors in comparison to wild-type osteoblasts and discovered the heightened expression of RECQL4, SPP1, RUNX2, and IBSP, which were highly correlated with a depressed response to chemotherapy treatment in patients affected by osteogenic sarcoma[2]. Recognizing that osteosarcoma CSC’s or cancer stem cells can reform and rejuvenate after a surgical or chemotherapy treatment, Siclari et al. proposed that future experiments be conducted in the interest of targeting the cancer stem cells as a method of osteosarcoma treatment post-op[2].


Although Osteosarcoma is relatively rare in comparison to other cancers, it is useful to understand the mechanism by which it forms as it could potentially lead to treatments for other forms of cancer. This disease usually affects young adults and children, is particularly aggressive, and has a mortality rate of approximately 25-50% depending on its progression. As such, it is crucial that a stronger treatment for Osteosarcoma is developed to ensure the survival of those affected are able to live a longer and more fulfilling life.




1.)     Siclari, Valerie A., and Ling Qin. "Targeting the osteosarcoma cancer stem cell." Journal of     Orthopaedic Surgery and Research. BioMed Central, 27 Oct. 2010. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.


2.)    "What Is Osteosarcoma?" American Cancer Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.


3.)     "Osteosarcoma." St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.


This is a really good article because it focuses on not only treating the tumors, but going to the base of the cancer, the stem cell and targeting it that way. I do agree that more research needs to be done to decrease fatality rate for both osteosarcoma and other cancers, the only issue is is that different methods might need to be deployed versus traditional methods; i.e thinking outside the box. Since osteosarcoma is aggressive, we may need to look at it at another angle.

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