BackgroundOsteosarcoma (OS) is the most frequent bone tumor in children and adolescents. Tumor antigens are encoded by genes that are expressed in many types of solid tumors but are silent in normal tissues, with the exception of placenta and male germ-line cells. It has been proposed that antigen tumors are potential tumor markers.ObjectivesThe premise of this study is that the identification of novel OS-associated transcripts will lead to a better understanding of the events involved in OS pathogenesis and biology.MethodsWe analyzed the expression of a panel of seven tumor antigens in OS samples to identify possible tumor markers. After selecting the tumor antigen expressed in most samples of the panel, gene expression profiling was used to identify osteosarcoma-associated molecular alterations. A microarray was employed because of its ability to accurately produce comprehensive expression profiles.ResultsPRAME was identified as the tumor antigen expressed in most OS samples; it was detected in 68% of the cases. Microarray results showed differences in expression for genes functioning in cell signaling and adhesion as well as extracellular matrix-related genes, implying that such tumors could indeed differ in regard to distinct patterns of tumorigenesis.ConclusionsThe hypothesis inferred in this study was gathered mostly from available data concerning other kinds of tumors. There is circumstantial evidence that PRAME expression might be related to distinct patterns of tumorigenesis. Further investigation is needed to validate the differential expression of genes belonging to tumorigenesis-related pathways in PRAME-positive and PRAME-negative tumors.