The purpose of the current study was to define the survival outcome variables for the 85 patients with Stage IIB osteosarcoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy at the authors' institution from 1982 to 1997. A minimum 4-year followup or death was a requisite for inclusion. Forty-three patients were relapse-free survivors and 14 had no evidence of disease at followup for an overall survival of 67%. Twenty-nine patients had thoracotomy and nine have no evidence of disease with a minimum 4-year followup from last thoracotomy. The mean time to metastasis after diagnosis for patients presenting with Stage IIB disease was 12.8 months. There was no difference in the survival for any of the three chemotherapy protocols, used during the 15 years included in this analysis. There was a significant relation between length of time to relapse and survival. For each additional year without relapse, there is an 18% increase in chance of survival. In patients who were treated with thoracotomy, the number of metastatic nodules was a significant predictor of survival; specifically, each nodule increased the risk of death by 43%. A favorable outcome in this cohort of patients is related to the length of time between initiation of therapy and diagnosis of metastasis, and the number of metastatic foci.