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Twentieth-century survival from osteosarcoma in childhood

TRENDS FROM 1933 TO 2004

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We have reviewed the data from our regional Bone Tumour Registry on patients with osteosarcoma diagnosed between 1933 and 2004 in order to investigate the relationship between survival and changes in treatment. There were 184 patients with non-metastatic appendicular osteosarcoma diagnosed at the age of 18 or under. Survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier curves, and multivariate analysis was performed using the Cox regression proportional hazards model.

The five-year survival improved from 21% between 1933 and 1959, to 62% between 1990 and 1999. During this time, a multi-disciplinary organisation was gradually developed to manage treatment. The most significant variable affecting outcome was the date of diagnosis, with trends in improved survival mirroring the introduction of increasingly effective chemotherapy. Our experience suggests that the guidelines of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the minimum throughput of centres for treatment should be enforced flexibly in those that can demonstrate that their historical and contemporary results are comparable to those published nationally and internationally.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr D. Porter; e-mail: Daniel.Porter@ed.ac.uk

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