Osteosarcoma: A Review of the Current Literature on the Genetic and Environmental Causes, and the Potential for New Treatment Findings

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Julia Oxford


Osteosarcoma (OS) is classified as a malignant bone cancer that is caused by the proliferation of cancerous bone tumor cells that give rise to osteoid tissue. Although a rare form of cancer, osteosarcoma is the leading cause of primary cancerous bone tumors. Currently, no definitive genetic mutations that are common in all osteosarcomas have been determined, leading to a difficulty in developing standard effective treatment options. The purpose of this study was to collect the most recent findings involving the genetic determinants and treatment recommendations of osteosarcoma. New research suggests that the complexity and variability in osteosarcoma cancer is linked to multiple genetic and environmental factors that include SNP’s, tumor suppressor mutations, and epigenetic effects. Attributing to the rarity of osteosarcoma, researchers have been limited in the study of this bone cancer. However, the treatment and observation of osteosarcoma in pet canines has shown promising potential as a model that can provide deeper insight into osteosarcomas affecting humans. Based on the current findings, further research is needed to determine how much osteosarcoma is based on inherited genetic mutations versus postnatal environmental factors.

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