At the Emory Sarcoma Center, located at Emory University Hospital Midtown, we have a multidisciplinary team of clinicians that has a specific interest and expertise in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of patients with bone, soft-tissue, and retroperitoneal sarcomas. Our team includes: surgical oncologists, orthopedic oncologists, thoracic surgeons, sarcoma medical and radiation oncologists, musculoskeletal radiologists, sarcoma pathologists, and palliative care specialists.
Our sarcoma team meets weekly at the sarcoma multidisciplinary conference to discuss cases, review treatment plans, and assess clinical trial eligibility.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly-experienced sarcoma team include:
- Access to clinicians and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
- Availability of new treatment options within our sarcoma clinical trials program.
- Access to state-of-the-art imaging and radiation technology.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the evaluation and treatment process.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to support groups and education classes for you and your caregivers.
The first step in diagnosing a sarcoma is a thorough physical examination and imaging of the tumor with either an MRI scan for extremity or truncal lesions or high-quality CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis for abdominal and retroperitoneal tumors. Additional imaging of the chest with plain x-rays or CT scan is also performed to complete staging.
Watch the video to learn from Kenneth Cardona, MD, about the various types of sarcoma and the current treatment options available.
If a physical examination or other test suggests a sarcoma may be present, a biopsy will be performed in order to potentially further determine the type of sarcoma present. A biopsy involves obtaining a sample of tissue from the tumor that is then examined by our expert sarcoma pathologists.
Key factors include tumor size, tumor location, and aggressiveness of the tumor and whether or not the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.
One or more of the following types of treatment options can be used:
Surgery: Limb-sparing, function preserving surgery, with or without radiation therapy, is the standard surgical approach for patients with sarcomas. The tumor, along with a margin of normal tissue around it, is removed in its entirety. In the past, amputation was the standard surgical approach, but with limb sparing procedures, an amputation can be often avoided. For tumors that are in the abdomen or retroperitoneum, major abdominal operations are often required. Surgery, in certain circumstances, is also used to remove tumors that have spread (metastasized) to organs such as the lung and liver with the goal of potentially improving survival.
Chemotherapy: The use of traditional cytotoxic drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancerous cells and is commonly employed in the treatment of various types of bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Chemotherapy can be administered prior to surgery as part of a multimodality treatment approach in conjunction with radiation therapy or it can be administered as sole therapy in patients with advanced tumors. However, due to the rarity and diversity of sarcomas, chemotherapy should be administered by a medical oncologist with expertise and experience in the management of patients with sarcomas. Furthermore, our sarcoma medical oncologists are abreast of the novel drugs that are being identified and used as targeted therapy for certain sarcomas.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation plays a key role in the multimodality treatment of many bone and soft tissue sarcomas and is an integral component in the management of patients with soft tissue tumors of the extremity and trunk. Radiation is also routinely used in the palliative setting to improve quality of life. Our radiation oncologists use cutting edge techniques that minimize the toxicity of radiation to the surrounding normal tissue. Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- Dr. Cardona is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist who specializes in the management of complex gastrointestinal malignancies (such as stomach, pancreas, and liver cancers) and is an expert in the treatment of sarcomas.
- Co-Chair Gastrointestinal Oncology Working Group, Emory University Hospital Midtown
- (404) 686-3203
- Dr. Oskouei is an expert in the treatment of musculoskeletal tumors, performing hundreds of total hip and total knee replacements annually and leading in the use of stem cells to treat arthritis of the hip and knee.
- Director, Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-7777
- Dr. Read is a medical oncologist who cares for patients with gynecologic malignancies, brain tumors, sarcomas of soft tissue and bone and complicated skin cancers.
- Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Staley leads the surgical oncology team and as Chief Quality Officer works collaboratively with leadership on tracking and improving patient services and satisfaction as well as focusing on cancer outcomes at Winship.
- Chief Quality Officer, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-0210
- A pioneer in sarcoma pathology, Dr. Weiss was the first to characterize multiple soft tissue pathologic entities. She is a board certified pathologist who specializes in the diagnosis of bone and soft tissue neoplasms.
- Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 712-5947