Osteosarcoma is a cancer of the bone. It starts in immature bone cells that normally form new bone tissue destroys tissue, weakening the bone. Osteosarcoma can occur, very rarely, as a tumor of the soft tissues of the body, outside the bone itself. It usually occurs in adolescents and young adults, but can occasionally occur in younger children.

Osteosarcoma may be triggered by over-activity of bone cells and usually starts in the bones around the knee joint, in the upper or lower leg next to the knee, or in the thigh, but can begin in any bone in the body.

The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) is committed to improving rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to increase survival rates of kids with cancer so they can live their dreams.  Our partnership with Levine Children’s Hospital will fund and create the ISF Rare and Solid Tumor Program.  This $5 million initiative will be designed to research and treat a wide range of deadly pediatric cancers while allowing the hospital to expand their clinical trials and provide extraordinary patient experience for all children and families with rare and solid tumors.

Childhood Cancer – The Facts and Reality

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children.

  • Osteosarcoma accounts for up about one-third of all bone cancers.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, each year about 800 to 900 new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed in the United States.
  • Most cases of this cancer occur in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30.
  • Approximately 900 people are diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the US each year
  • The average age of diagnosis is 15 years old.
  • This form of bone cancer tends to be 50% more common in boys than girls.


Madison was diagnosed in April of 208 with osteosarcoma at age five. After several rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor on her femur, she had surgery to remove her right femur and replace it with one from a cadaver. Fortunately, the medical team was able to remove most of the tumor and save both of Madison’s growth plates. Fortunately, the medical team was able to remove most of the tumor and save both of Madison’s growth plates.

Madison completed her treatment at Levine Children’s Hospital in February 2019.  Her femur is growing on its own, showing evidence that it has attached itself to the cadaver bone.

Read more about Madison, her treatment and updates on what she is doing outside of cancer.


Basketball was everything to 11-year-old Alex Bogran – until a sudden leg injury left him sidelined last year. When Alex’s doctors couldn’t find a break or fracture to explain his worsening pain, they called for an MRI.

The results of the MRI were grim: Alex didn’t have an injury – he had osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. “It was scary, but I knew everything was going to be okay,” Alex recalls of the diagnosis. “Everything works out in the end.”

For Alex, treatment would be far from easy. It required months of chemotherapy, plus a major surgery to remove the tumor and replace his knee. But his positive attitude never waned, making one thing clear: Treating cancer is tough, but Alex Bogran is tougher.

Read more about Alex, story provided by Levine Children’s Hospital.

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