• osteosarcoma;
  • bone cancer;
  • epidemiology;
  • Surveillance;
  • Epidemiology;
  • End Results;
  • incidence;
  • survival



Osteosarcoma, which is the most common primary bone tumor, occurs most frequently in adolescents, but there is a second incidence peak among individuals aged >60 years. Most osteosarcoma epidemiology studies have been embedded in large analyses of all bone tumors or focused on cases occurring in adolescence. Detailed descriptions of osteosarcoma incidence and survival with direct comparisons among patients of all ages and ethnicities are not available.


Frequency, incidence, and survival rates for 3482 patients with osteosarcoma from the National Cancer Institute's population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program between 1973 and 2004 were investigated by age (ages 0-24 years, 25-59 years, and 60 to ≥85 years), race, sex, pathology subtype, stage, and anatomic site.


There were large differences in incidence and survival rates by age. There was a high percentage of osteosarcoma with Paget disease and osteosarcoma as a second or later cancer among the elderly. There was a high percentage of osteosarcoma among patients with Paget disease and osteosarcoma as a second or later cancer among the elderly. Tumor site differences among age groups were noted. Survival rates varied by anatomic site and disease stage and did not improve significantly from 1984 to 2004.


This comprehensive, population-based description of osteosarcoma, identified important differences in incidence, survival, pathologic subtype, and anatomic site among age groups, and quantified the impact of osteosarcoma in patients with Paget disease or as a second cancer on incidence and mortality rates. These findings may have implications in understanding osteosarcoma biology and epidemiology. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.