Osteosarcoma is a rare bone cancer that most often affects the long bones in the legs and arms. Although it occurs most often in young adults, older adults and younger children are also at risk of developing osteosarcoma. This type of bone cancer is often characterized by bone pain and swelling, with younger people usually experiencing these symptoms around the upper arms or knees.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders estimates that some 750 to 1,000 individuals are diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States with some 450 of them being the age of 20. Furthermore, recent research has revealed that Black individuals aged 10 to 24 years old are more likely to develop osteosarcoma compared to other racial/ethnic groups.
The recent study, which reported its findings in the “Cancer” journal, sought to determine if there were differences in osteosarcoma incidence and survival in different racial/ethnic communities and across age groups. To do this, researchers scrutinized the 5,016 cases of osteosarcoma patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program and calculated incidence rates (IRs) and five-year relative survival (RS) from 1975 to 2017.
They found that American Indian/Alaska Native males as well as older adults had the worst relative survival rates while Black patients between ages 10 and 24 had the highest osteosarcoma incidence rates. Children aged 0 to nine years old had an age-adjusted IR of 1.9 per million, which increased over the study period (P <.05) and peaked in the most recent decade at 2.3 per million. The five-year RS for children in that same age group was 78%, with the rate increasing steadily over the study period. Both the IR and RS for children in this age group were similar in males and females.
Patients aged 10 to 24 years had an IR of 7.2 per million, which also went up through the study period (P <.05), reaching its highest level this decade at 6.7 per million. Black and Hispanic people in this age group had the highest osteosarcoma incidence rate, with males being more likely to develop the condition than females (IR 8.1 per 1 million for males and 6.2 per million for females). Patients in this age group had an overall five-year RS rate of 65.9%.
Patients in the 25 to 59 years age group had an IR of 1.9 per million, which stayed relatively steady over the study period, and an overall five-year RS of 56.8%, which peaked at 57.7% in the most recent decade. Finally, patients 60 years or older had an IR of 3.5 per million, which decreased over the study period and reached a low of 2 per million over the most recent decade.
Researchers noted that Black individuals across all age groups had high osteosarcoma incidence rates; they posited that this may be due to differences in genetic susceptibility and underlying biology.
Research is also taking place with the aim of finding effective treatments for osteosarcoma. For example, QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) has a drug in clinical development targeting pediatric osteosarcoma. The success and eventual approval of this formulation could go a long way toward helping patients suffering from this debilitating condition.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/QSAM
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