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Risk Factors for Metastatic Disease at Presentation with OsteosarcomaAn Analysis of the SEER Database
Benjamin J. Miller, MD1; Peter Cram, MD, MBA1; Charles F. Lynch, MD, MS, PhD1; Joseph A. Buckwalter, MD, MS1
1 Departments of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation (B.J.M., J.A.B.), Internal Medicine (P.C.), and Epidemiology (C.F.L.), University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, 01015 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242. E-mail address for B.J. Miller: benjamin-j-miller@uiowa.edu
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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. In addition, one or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Jul 03;95(13):e89 1-8. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01189
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Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone sarcoma and affects all ages. There are substantial differences in management and outcomes for patients who have localized disease compared with distant spread at the time of diagnosis. Our goal was to examine potential risk factors predictive of metastatic disease at presentation.


The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program database was used to identify all patients diagnosed with osteosarcoma from 2000 to 2008 and to classify each patient as having metastatic or localized disease at the time of diagnosis. Patient-based characteristics, tumor characteristics, and county-level socioeconomic measures were analyzed to determine which factors were predictive of an increased rate of distant metastatic disease at presentation. These factors were analyzed as univariate characteristics as well as in a multivariate logistic regression model.


We identified 2017 cases of high-grade osteosarcoma, and 464 (23.0%) of the patients presented with metastatic disease. In the unadjusted logistic regression analysis, patients had increased odds of metastatic disease at presentation if they had an age of sixty years or more (odds ratio [OR] = 2.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71 to 2.89), had a tumor located in the axial skeleton (OR = 2.47; 95% CI, 1.88 to 3.26), and lived in a county with low socioeconomic status (OR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.08 to 2.35). These factors remained significant when combined in multivariate models controlling for age, location, and socioeconomic status. For patients with recorded tumor size information (n = 1398), the odds of metastasis at presentation increased by 10% with each additional centimeter of tumor size (OR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.13). When the patients with missing tumor size information were excluded, socioeconomic status was no longer a significant risk factor for metastasis at presentation in the multivariate model.


Osteosarcoma patients with advanced age, a tumor in the axial skeleton, a larger tumor size, and a residence in a less affluent county were more likely to have metastatic disease at presentation.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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