Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary bone malignancy and responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality due to its high rates of pulmonary metastasis. Although neoadjuvant chemotherapy has improved 5-year survival rates for patients with localized OS from 20% to over 65%, outcomes for those with metastasis remain dismal. In addition, therapeutic regimens have not significantly improved patient outcomes over the past four decades, and metastases remains a primary cause of death and obstacle in curative therapy. These limitations in care have given rise to numerous works focused on mechanisms and novel targets of OS pathogenesis, including tumor niche factors. OS is notable for its hallmark production of rich extracellular matrix (ECM) of osteoid that goes beyond simple physiological growth support. The aberrant signaling and structural components of the ECM are rich promoters of OS development, and very recent works have shown the specific pathogenic phenotypes induced by these macromolecules. In this review, the authors summarize the current developments outlining how the ECM contributes to OS progression and metastasis with supporting mechanisms. They also illustrate the potential of tumorigenic ECM elements as prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in the evolving clinical management of OS.
Click here to access all of the reviews published to date in Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research.