Sarcoma Treatment

Referral from a primary care physician/orthopedist is made to an orthopedic oncologist at a specialty center. The specialist will review the referral and will possibly recommend further tests including an MRI, CT scan, X-rays and lab work. A pre-operative evaluation of limb function and pre-training will help to decrease rehab time and emotional stress post surgery. A biopsy will be done to determine the type of cancer. After the results are determined, a treatment plan will be arranged, which may consist of the following:

Your physician could also recommend a clinical trial for your treatment. Learn more about the clinical trials offered for sarcomas.

When the bone is removed it is replaced with either:

  • Prosthesis - Prostheses used for limb salvage procedures are called megaprostheses, which are metallic devices designed to replace the diseased bones and joints which are removed during surgery. These devices are modular in design in order to accommodate different lengths and needs of the patient. The prosthesis is fixed to the remaining bones with bone cement or the bone grows into the prosthesis.
  • Allograft bone - Allograft reconstructions typically involve a plate, screw, or intramedullary rod device and depend upon your bone healing
  • Allograft - prosthetic combination

Team members for limb salvage surgery are involved to help the patient throughout the course of treatment and consist of the following:

  • Orthopedic oncologist
  • Medical oncologists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists

Frequent follow-ups are recommended after surgery since two-thirds of all recurrences are detected two years after diagnosis. Sarcomas that spread to other parts of the body typically go to the lungs; therefore, the lungs are monitored closely through follow-up. Metastatic disease is treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.