The clinical management of osteosarcoma differs significantly from that of chondrosarcoma; therefore, it is extremely important to diagnose these 2 types of bone tumor accurately. In the absence of a specific marker, differential diagnosis by histochemistry is sometimes impossible, especially between chondroblastic osteosarcoma and conventional chondrosarcoma. We analyzed 165 bone sarcomas by immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays for expression of the galectin-1 (GAL1) lectin and by Western blot experiments. We found that GAL1 was abundant in normal human osteoblasts from benign proliferations and in osteosarcomas, including chondroblastic osteosarcomas, but not in chondrosarcomas. There was a highly significant statistical difference in the percentage of stained cells (P < 10(-4)) and in the staining intensity (P < 10(-3)) of chondroblastic osteosarcomas compared to conventional chondrosarcomas. This discriminatory potential of GAL1 staining for osteosarcoma-derived tumors was confirmed by Western blotting. We propose a diagnostic test for bone tumors that takes into account the optimal discriminative values for the percentage of cells stained and the intensity of staining. The positive and negative predictive values were 85.7% (trust interval of 63.7%-97%) and 90% (trust interval of 80%-95.9%), respectively, demonstrating the pertinence of the test. Altogether, our data indicate that GAL1 is a powerful diagnostic marker that distinguishes chondroblastic osteosarcomas from conventional chondrosarcomas.