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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Targeting the osteosarcoma cancer stem cell

Valerie A Siclari and Ling Qin*

Author Affiliations

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2010, 5:78  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-5-78

Published: 27 October 2010

Abstract

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of solid bone cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in pediatric patients. Many patients are not cured by the current osteosarcoma therapy consisting of combination chemotherapy along with surgery and thus new treatments are urgently needed. In the last decade, cancer stem cells have been identified in many tumors such as leukemia, brain, breast, head and neck, colon, skin, pancreatic, and prostate cancers and these cells are proposed to play major roles in drug resistance, tumor recurrence, and metastasis. Recent studies have shown evidence that osteosarcoma also possesses cancer stem cells. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the osteosarcoma cancer stem cell including the methods used for its isolation, its properties, and its potential as a new target for osteosarcoma treatment.