Sarcoma

When you come to the Emory Sarcoma Center at Winship Cancer Institute for treatment of your sarcoma, you have a multidisciplinary team of sarcoma specialists and experts dedicated to your well-being.

Sarcomas are a group of remarkably diverse and rare soft tissue and bone tumors that frequently pose significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Close to 100 different types of sarcomas have been identified. Treatment of such tumors is best performed in an academic, referral center where experts specialize in the care of patients with sarcomas.

At the Emory Sarcoma Center, 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.

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.

For reliable, in-depth information about cancer symptoms, staging and diagnosis, visit CancerQuest, an educational and outreach program at Emory University. 

Visit CancerQuest

Numerous factors are taken into consideration when determining an appropriate, individualized treatment plan for a patient with a newly diagnosed or recurrent sarcoma.

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.

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 counselorsnurse navigatorsdietitians and social service professionals.

 Consider talking with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial at Winship. Through these trials, you may have access to treatments that are not widely available.

Learn More About Clinical Trials

If you have been diagnosed with a sarcoma, we are ready to help you. Call us at 1 (888) 946-7447 or (404) 778-1900 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Winship experts are available to provide a second opinion.

We understand that this is a very stressful time. We welcome your questions and requests for help. Learn what to expect on your first visit.

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Wendy Baer MD

  • Oncology Psychiatrist
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                                 Wendy Baer MD
Wendy Baer MD

Wendy Baer MD

  • Dr. Baer helps patients and their families deal with the stress of receiving a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Medical Director of Psychiatric Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD
Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD
Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS
Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

  • 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

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Supportive Oncologist
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                                 Kimberly A. Curseen MD
Kimberly A. Curseen MD

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Dr. Curseen is the primary provider for the Supportive Oncology Clinic at Winship.
  • Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services , Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-1900

Keith Delman MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Keith Delman MD
Keith Delman MD

Keith Delman MD

  • As Co-Chair of the melanoma team at Winship, Dr. Delman leads the multidisciplinary care of nearly half of all patients diagnosed with melanoma in the state of Georgia each year.
  • Co-Chair, Melanoma Working Group, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-3303

Mark Allen Edgar MD

  • Pathologist
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                                 Mark Allen Edgar MD
Mark Allen Edgar MD

Mark Allen Edgar MD

  • Dr. Edgar's clinical expertise is in the areas of bone and soft tissue pathology, anatomical pathology and neuropathology.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 712-5867

Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Sharon  Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP
Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

Joan Giblin NP

  • Survivorship Program
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                                 Joan  Giblin NP
Joan Giblin NP

Joan Giblin NP

  • An experienced nurse practitioner specialist with extensive patient care involvement, Ms. Giblin facilitates continued good health and quality of life for cancer survivors.
  • Survivorship Program Director, Winship Cancer Institute
  • (404) 778-1900

Karen Godette MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Karen Godette MD
Karen Godette MD

Karen Godette MD

  • Dr. Godette is the medical director for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Medical Director, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-2391

Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD
Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD

Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD

  • As a member of both the Gastrointestinal Oncology working group and the Sarcoma working group, Dr. Hawk sees patients with either gastrointestinal or connective tissue malignancies.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Valerie Henderson MSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Valerie Henderson MSW
Valerie Henderson MSW

Valerie Henderson MSW

Margaret (Maggie) Hughes LMSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Margaret (Maggie) Hughes LMSW
Margaret (Maggie) Hughes LMSW

Margaret (Maggie) Hughes LMSW

  • Ms. Hughes works with the genitourinary and gastrointestinal patients at Winship Cancer Institute and the breast, gynecological and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-5976

Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA
Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA

Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA

  • Dr. Landry is chief of service at the Edward Loughlin Oncology Center at Grady Memorial Hospital.
  • Chief of Service, Edward Loughlin Oncology Center, Grady Memorial Hospital
  • (404) 778-3473

Colleen Lewis NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Colleen Lewis NP
Colleen Lewis NP

Colleen Lewis NP

Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Shishir K. Maithel  MD, FACS
Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

  • Dr. Maithel is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist with special interest in sarcoma and malignancies of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, stomach, colon, and small intestine.
  • Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-0210

David K. Monson MD

  • Orthopedic Oncologist
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                                 David K. Monson MD
David K. Monson MD

David K. Monson MD

Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

  • Nurse Navigator
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                                 Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN
Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

Shervin V. Oskouei MD

  • Orthopedic Oncologist
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                                 Shervin V.  Oskouei MD
Shervin V. Oskouei MD

Shervin V. Oskouei MD

  • 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) 778-1900

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • At Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Ms. Perlmutter works with patients of all cancer types providing resource referrals and counseling services.
  • Social Worker, Outpatient Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7826

Allan Pickens MD

  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon
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                                 Allan Pickens MD
Allan Pickens MD

Allan Pickens MD

Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

  • Physician Assistant
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                                 Kimberly Pizarek PA-C
Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

  • Ms. Pizarek works with Dr. Maria Russell of the surgical oncology team to provide care for breast cancer, gastrointestinal, melanoma and sarcoma patients.
  • Physician Assistant , Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Pamela Randall MDiv

  • Chaplain
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                                 Pamela Randall MDiv
Pamela Randall MDiv

Pamela Randall MDiv

William Read MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 William Read MD
William Read MD

William Read MD

  • 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 at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Nickolas B. Reimer MD

  • Orthopedic Oncologist
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                                 Nickolas B. Reimer MD
Nickolas B. Reimer MD

Nickolas B. Reimer MD

  • Dr. Reimer collaborates with the sarcoma team at Winship Cancer Institute to deliver world-class, musculoskeletal oncology care.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Nancy Reynics NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Nancy Reynics NP
Nancy Reynics NP

Nancy Reynics NP

  • Working with the surgical oncology team, Ms. Reynics coordinates care for breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, melanoma and sarcoma patients.
  • Nurse Practitioner, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Monica Rizzo MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Monica Rizzo MD, FACS
Monica Rizzo MD, FACS

Monica Rizzo MD, FACS

  • As an American Cancer Society Commission on Cancer Liaison Physician at Emory University Hospital Midtown, Dr. Rizzo is actively involved in quality measures and initiatives to assure excellence in cancer care at the hospital.
  • Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-1343

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Maria C. Russell MD
Maria C. Russell MD

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Dr. Russell collaborates with several multidisciplinary teams to develop specialized plans for individuals with various types of cancer.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-3203

Vinita Singh MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Vinita Singh MD
Vinita Singh MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Dr. Singh collaborates with medical oncologists to provide state-of-the-art therapies to cancer patients suffering from pain symptoms.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2410

Charles A. Staley MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Charles A. Staley MD
Charles A. Staley MD

Charles A. Staley MD

  • Dr. Staley leads the surgical oncology team at Winship. He works collaboratively with the Executive Director and Deputy Director to coordinate and enhance clinical services and patient care throughout Winship and its clinical campuses.
  • Associate Director for Clinical Affairs, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-0210

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD
Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Dr. Vainshtein treats patients with head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, thoracic malignancies and sarcomas at both Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
  • Instructor, Clinical Track, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3473

Sharon W. Weiss MD

  • Pathologist
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                                 Sharon W. Weiss MD
Sharon W. Weiss MD

Sharon W. Weiss MD

  • 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) 712-5867