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Osteosarcoma causes are currently being studied by scientists. In most cases, the precise triggers for this relatively rare form of bone cancer are still not well understood. Several theories suggest that most osteosarcomas are caused by DNA mutations that are either passed down from parent to child or acquired during a person’s lifetime. DNA provides a blueprint for the way that cells should grow, multiply and die. When damaged DNA sends out faulty instructions, formerly healthy bone cells can begin to reproduce very rapidly and accumulate into masses, or osteosarcomas, that can potentially become cancerous.

Sometimes, DNA damage can occur during the normal process of cellular division. Other times, it can be triggered by several possible osteosarcoma causes, which researchers believe may include:

  • Prior radiation treatment – While radiation therapy can be effective for destroying cancer cells, it can also damage the DNA of healthy bone cells, causing those cells to undergo abnormal changes.
  • Genetic predisposition – Damaged bone cell DNA can also be inherited.
  • Underlying bone abnormalities – Conditions that affect the bones, such as Paget’s disease of the bone, can disrupt the body’s bone tissue recycling process and sometimes result in complications like bone cancer.

The dedicated research team at Moffitt Cancer Center is working tirelessly to better understand what causes osteosarcoma. Through ongoing laboratory studies and clinical trials, we are gaining further insight into the DNA changes that can cause bone cells to become cancerous, as well as how these cells respond to various treatments.

Moffitt’s extensive research efforts have received national acclaim, including a Comprehensive Cancer Center designation by the National Cancer Institute. Every day, as we discover and develop new and better therapies, we are further refining our approach to osteosarcoma treatment and getting closer to finding a cure. This is clearly evidenced by our patient outcomes and survival rates, which consistently outrank the national averages, and by the quality of life experienced by our patients.

If you’d like to learn more about possible osteosarcoma causes, the experts at Moffitt will be pleased to answer your questions and discuss your individual risk profile. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.