Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Treatment & Diagnosis

Sylvester’s sarcoma specialists have expertise in standard and experimental therapies for bone and soft tissue cancers. Our multidisciplinary team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, and pathologists who work together to diagnose and treat even the most complex and challenging cases of this rare cancer.

New targeted therapies have been shown to be very effective for certain types of sarcomas. Many types of sarcomas are thought to be caused by genetic mutations, and at Sylvester, our doctors have the ability to test for those genetic mutations so they can recommend an optimal treatment plan for each patient.

Surgery is the primary (main) treatment for most bone cancers. Surgery may also be needed to obtain a biopsy of the cancer. The biopsy and the surgical treatment are separate operations, but it is very important that they both be planned together. Sometimes the entire limb needs to be surgically removed (amputated) in order to do a good wide-excision and remove all of the cancer. But most of the time, the surgeon can remove the cancer without amputation, which is called limb-salvage or limb-sparing surgery.

Chemotherapy is often a part of treatment for Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma, but is not often used for other bone cancers. Chemotherapy may be useful for bone cancer that has spread through the bloodstream to the lungs and/or other organs. Chemotherapy can be a highly effective treatment for sarcoma when combined with surgery and/or radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy may also be part of the treatment plan for sarcomas, but it does not play a major role in the treatment of most types of bone tumors (except for Ewing sarcoma tumors). Most bone cancers are not easily destroyed by radiation, and high doses need to be used. However, radiation therapy can be an effective treatment for sarcomas when used in combination with other types of treatment, such as surgery and chemotherapy.