Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the connective tissue of the body — fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles, deep skin tissues and cartilage. With more than 50 different subtypes of sarcomas, they are generally divided into two main groups: bone tumors and soft-tissue tumors. Sarcomas are very rare and represent less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed in adults and children in the U.S. annually.
Evaluation and diagnosis
The Comprehensive Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Center has the expertise to evaluate and treat both benign and malignant tumors in adults and children. Many tools are utilized to diagnosis both bone and soft tissue sarcomas, including:
- Physical examination
- Blood tests, including checking the level of an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase
- X-rays can show the location, size and shape of a tumor
- Imaging tests such as a bone scan, CT scan or MRI. Imaging studies help determine the size and location and extent of the tumor.
- Biopsy of the bone or soft-tissue tumor
The Comprehensive Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Center provides the most advanced options available for the treatment of rare tumors of the bone and soft tissue in both adult and pediatric patients. Many tumors or growths that develop in the bone and soft tissue are not cancerous and can be treated by surgery alone. Some of these tumors will be diagnosed as cancers and need additional treatment provided by our expert multidisciplinary teams.
Examples of the types of tumors evaluated and treated by the center:
|Benign (Noncancerous) Tumors
||Malignant (Cancerous) Tumors
- Bone cysts
- Chondromyxoid fibroma
- Osteoid osteoma
- Ewing’s sarcoma
- Multiple myeloma
- All soft-tissue tumors
Our Adult Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Program has been treating patients with rare sarcoma tumors for more than a decade with tremendous success. A full range of state-of-the-art therapy options are available, including the most recent and cutting-edge treatments involving novel chemotherapy and biologic agents as well as new treatment protocols endorsed by the National Cancer Institute. Our multidisciplinary approach to treatment includes a team comprised of a fellowship-trained orthopedic oncologist, musculoskeletal radiologist, musculoskeletal pathologist, as well as medical and radiation oncologists with expertise in treating rare sarcoma tumors.
In collaboration with the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai, our unique Pediatric Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Program provides highly specialized care for children and adolescents diagnosed with sarcoma tumors, which make up at least 15 percent of childhood cancers. Sinai Hospital is one of the only community-based hospitals in the Country with a multidisciplinary team composed of a pediatric fellowship-trained orthopedic oncologist, pediatric medical oncologists and radiation oncologists supported by a pediatric ICU to effectively treat malignant tumors in children. Our program specializes in limb-sparing surgery for pediatric patients with primary malignant bone tumors such as Ewing's sarcoma and osteosarcoma. Sinai Hospital is one of the few health care facilities in the U.S. able to treat pediatric patients with CyberKnife® technology.
Advanced surgical and treatment options
Limb-sparing surgery: As recently as 15 years ago, the surgical answer to an aggressive tumor of the extremity was amputation. While this may be necessary in certain cases, many patients can be successfully treated with limb-sparing surgery, which is designed to save the limb while removing the tumor. We specialize in limb-sparing surgery for patients with primary malignant bone tumors such as Ewing’s sarcoma and osteosarcoma. "Growing" or expanding prostheses, bone grafts and bone transplantation are all techniques used in these surgeries.
CyberKnife: This treatment uses cruise missile technology to noninvasively target tumors that were previously inoperable with high-dose radiation with a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery. Targeting from different angles destroys cancerous and benign tumors while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. This pinpoint accuracy allows our physicians to treat difficult-to-reach tumors. Dr. Cardella Coleman, a radiation oncologist, has expertise in treating bone and soft-tissue tumors with CyberKnife in both adult and pediatric patients.
Clinical trials and research: Discoveries made in scientific research laboratories translate into treatments available to patients through research studies or clinical trials. Our specialists ensure that both our adult and pediatric patients have access to the most advanced treatment options available in a community-based hospital setting.
In this WBAL-AM "Know Your Health" radio clip, Dr. Aboulafia discusses bone and tissue cancers.
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