Microarray Analysis of Craniofacial and Appendicular Osteosarcoma

Date of Completion

January 2011


Biology, Molecular|Biology, Genetics|Health Sciences, Human Development




Osteosarcoma is the most common primary tumor of bone and the third most common malignancy in adolescents. Osteosarcoma of all sites accounts for approximately 20% of all malignant tumors of bone and approximately 7,500 new cases annually in the United States. Although a majority of osteosarcomas occur in the long bones of the skeleton, 6–13% of all osteosarcomas occur in the head and neck. Evidence, such as the differences in the degree of cellular atypia, the frequency of local versus distant metastases, the time until metastases, and the median age of onset, suggests that primary osteosarcoma of the appendicular skeleton and primary osteosarcoma of the head and neck represent biologically discrete diseases. To test this hypothesis we chose to analyze global expression patterns of genes in appendicular and craniofacial osteosarcomas. The expression patterns of these genes differed in head and neck osteosarcomas from those observed in the appendicular osteosarcomas. These results suggest that the mechanism of tumorigenesis in these two forms of osteosarcoma may be distinct and that primary head and neck osteosarcoma may be a separate disease from appendicular skeletal osteosarcoma. ^