An osteosarcoma is a cancerous tumor in a bone. Specifically, it is an aggressive malignant neoplasm that arises from primitive transformed cells of mesenchymal origin (and thus a sarcoma) and that exhibits osteoblastic differentiation and produces malignant osteoid.

Osteoblastoma is a rare, benign, locally recurrent tumor with a predilection for spine, that may rarely undergo sarcomatous change (to osteosarcoma, only a handful of known cases of this 1)).


The most common primary bone cancer. More common in children, usually occurring near the ends of long bones, but also in the mandible, pelvis, and rarely in the spine.

Spinal osteosarcoma usually occurs in the lumbosacral region in males in their 40 s, sometimes arising from areas of osteoblastoma or Paget’s disease. If a percutaneous biopsy reveals osteosarcoma, the contaminated needle tract can increase the difficulty of subsequent surgery. Poor prognosis, median survival=10 months 2).


Caution regarding needle biopsy: if the lesion turns out to be osteosarcoma, the contaminated needle tract can result in worse prognosis.

The purpose of a work was to identify and measure catecholamines, their metabolites, and the gene expression of catecholamine receptors in osteosarcoma tissue.

The levels of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, norepinephrine, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in cancer tissue and in adjacent and non-oncological bone tissue were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the gene expression of catecholamine receptors and of dopamine β-hydroxylase, monoaminoxidase, ki67, and Runx2 in the osteosarcoma tissue, tissue adjacent to the tumour, non-oncological bone, and human brain tissue was analysed by RT-PCR.

Bandala et al., found significantly higher levels of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and norepinephrine in the cancer sample than in adjacent and non-oncological bone. We found that β-adrenergic receptors and dopaminergic receptors, dopamine β-hydroxylase, ki67, Runx2, and serotonergic receptor gene expression were significantly higher in tumour tissue than in adjacent and non-oncological bone.

Catecholamines and their receptors could be potential molecular markers for osteosarcoma progression 3).




Amacher AL, Eltomey A. Spinal Osteoblastoma in Children and Adolescents. Childs Nerv Syst. 1985; 1:29–32

Shives TC, Dahlin DC, Sim FH, Pritchard DJ, Earle JD. Osteosarcoma of the spine. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1986; 68:660–668

Bandala C, Ávila-Luna A, Gómez-López M, Estrada-Villaseñor E, Montes S, Alfaro-Rodríguez A, Miliar-García Á, Cortés-Altamirano JL, Peralta R, Ibáñez-Cervantes G, Gómez-Manzo S, Cárdenas-Rodríguez N, Lara-Padilla E. Catecholamine levels and gene expression of their receptors in tissues of adults with osteosarcoma. Arch Physiol Biochem. 2019 Jul 10:1-7. doi: 10.1080/13813455.2019.1638942. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31291139.

Leave a Reply