Novel therapeutic strategies for spinal osteosarcomas.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon. Electronic address: [Email]


At the dawn of the third millennium, cancer has become the bane of twenty-first century man, and remains a predominant public health burden, affecting welfare and life expectancy globally. Spinal osteogenic sarcoma, a primary spinal malignant tumor, is a rare and challenging neoplastic disease to treat. After the conventional therapeutic modalities of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery have been exhausted, there is currently no available alternative therapy in managing cases of spinal osteosarcoma. The defining signatures of tumor survival are characterised by cancer cell ability to stonewall immunogenic attrition and apoptosis by various means. Some of these biomarkers, namely immune-checkpoints, have recently been exploited as druggable targets in osteosarcoma and many other different cancers. These promising strides made by the use of reinvigorated immunotherapeutic approaches may lead to significant reduction in spinal osteosarcoma disease burden and corresponding reciprocity in increase of survival rates. In this review, we provide the background to spinal osteosarcoma, and proceed to elaborate on contribution of the complex ecology within tumor microenvironment giving arise to cancerous immune escape, which is currently receiving considerable attention. We follow this section on the tumor microenvironment by a brief history of cancer immunity. Also, we draw on the current knowledge of treatment gained from incidences of osteosarcoma at other locations of the skeleton (long bones of the extremities in close proximity to the metaphyseal growth plates) to make a case for application of immunity-based tools, such as immune-checkpoint inhibitors and vaccines, and draw attention to adverse upshots of immune-checkpoint blockers as well. Finally, we describe the novel biotechnique of CRISPR/Cas9 that will assist in treatment approaches for personalized medication.


Immuno-checkpoint inhibitors,Immunotherapy,Spinal osteosarcoma,Tumor microenvironment,