Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Osteogenic sarcoma (Pediatric)

What is osteogenic sarcoma?

Also called osteosarcoma, osteogenic sarcoma is one of the most common types of bone cancer in children and accounts for nearly 3 percent of all childhood cancers. About 400 children are diagnosed with osteosarcoma each year.

The disease usually occurs in the long bones, such as the arms (humerus), legs (femur/tibia) and pelvis. It rarely occurs in the jaw and fingers, but often occurs at the ends of these bones near growth plates. Osteosarcoma most often affects children between 10 and 25 years of age.

This cancer also is more prevalent in males than in females, possibly because of the rapid growth rate at this age. Prior to adolescence, the percentage of affected males and females is equal.

Osteogenic sarcoma cancer cells also can spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body. Most commonly, these cells spread to the lungs. However, bones, kidneys, the adrenal gland, the brain and the heart also can be sites of metastasis.