Treatment Programs

Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)

Our multidisciplinary team of specialists provides comprehensive treatment for patients with bone cancers including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma and the Ewing Family of Tumors (EFTs).

Our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists provides comprehensive, individually tailored treatment for children and adults with bone cancers including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and the Ewing Family of Tumors (EFTs). It is important to seek treatment from experts with extensive experience in diagnosing and managing these rare cancers. Our program is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced sarcoma treatment programs in the world.

In addition to those mentioned above, we also treat these types of bone sarcomas:

  • Chordoma
  • Adamantinoma
  • Pagets Sarcoma
  • Lymphoma of the Bone
  • Mailgnant Fibrous Tumors of Bone
  • Metastatic Carcinoma to Bone (thyroid, breast, prostate, lung, renal cell, uterine, colon)

Innovative ApproachesAt the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology, we offer cutting edge care and innovative surgical, medical oncology, and radiation oncology treatments designed to eradicate the tumor, prevent local recurrence, improve survival and optimize limb function.

Our surgeons are internationally respected andd are active participants in a national clinical trials network that allows us to bring new treatments to our patients as quickly as possible. We offer a unique treatment resource for primary tumors of the spine, and we are one of only a few centers in the United States that provide proton beam therapy in addition to state-of-the-art surgery and targeted chemotherapy.

Multidisciplinary Patient CareOur team approach ensures that every patient benefits from an individualized, coordinated and compassionate treatment plan, with care provided by leading experts from many specialties. We consider all individuals involved in the patient's care to be part of this team, including:

  • Pathologists who provide precise diagnostic information by evaluating tumor samples and any biomarkers that can help your team design the best treatment plan for you
  • Musculoskeletal radiologists who offer advanced imaging to evaluate tumors, do image-guided biopsies, assist in surgical planning, and monitor the results of treatment
  • Orthopaedic oncology surgeons and surgical oncologists who provide the most advanced surgical techniques to maximize tumor removal and maintain neurologic function
  • Spine surgeons who assist in spinal reconstruction procedures
  • Microvascular surgeons who aid in reconstruction procedures to enhance limb function
  • Medical and/or pediatric oncologists design the most appropriate combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or targeted therapy for your particular cancer
  • Radiation oncologists who offer innovative radiation therapy techniques customized to your individual needs and designed to deliver the most therapeutic radiation to the cancer while preserving adjacent normal tissue
  • Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who bring special expertise in cancer care
  • Oncology psychiatrists, social workers, and chaplains who provide family, spiritual, and emotional, and mental health support
  • Oncology nutritionists who help with dietary issues to enhance your health and well-being during treatment
  • Palliative care providers who work with your team to address pain and quality-of-life concerns

Your team will develop and implement an integrated personalized care plan for you. Depending on the stage and other characteristics of your cancer, the treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these therapies. The team meets weekly in Sarcoma Conference to monitor treatment and ensure seamless communication and coordination of care.

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging CancerOur musculoskeletal pathologists sub-specialize in diagnosing and staging skeletal system tumors. They use a variety of biomarkers and molecular techniques to categorize each tumor, which helps determine the most effective course of treatment.

Our pathologists work very closely with our radiologists, orthopedic oncology surgeons, spine surgeons and surgical oncologists to develop the best therapeutic strategies for each patient’s cancer. During surgery, our pathologists analyze tumor samples to help ensure that the surgeons completely remove the entire tumor with negative margins (no surrounding cancer).

Advanced imaging technologies provide diagnostic and staging information and include:

  • CT
  • MRI, to pinpoint the location, size and shape of the tumor
  • Nuclear medicine including bone and PET scans, as well as PET/CT to gain integrated anatomic and functional information

Medical OncologyWe offer a full range of chemotherapeutic agents, including angiogenesis inhibitors and molecularly targeted agents. Through our clinical trials program, we are able to offer many new, investigational medications for appropriately selected patients. Research conducted at our Cancer Center and elsewhere is leading to better understanding of the genetic basis of bone cancers and pointing the way to new treatment strategies. Additional research is focused on the problem of reverse drug resistance in sarcoma.

Excellence in Surgical CareOur surgeons are leaders in bone tumor resection and complex reconstructions, using a variety of implants and transplants to optimize limb function. Today, 90 to 95 percent of our bone cancer patients can be safely treated with limb-sparing techniques.

Our orthopaedic oncology surgeons work with their colleagues from the Mass General Spine Service and with other subspecialty surgeons, depending on the location of the tumor. They are internationally known for their expertise in complex spinal operations, including “en bloc” resections – wide excisions of tumor in difficult anatomic locations, and in innovative reconstruction procedures.

Pioneering Radiation TherapiesOur radiation oncologists offer a range of therapies designed to shrink or destroy tumors while protecting normal tissue. Advanced technologies include:

  • Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), a novel technique to deliver additional radiation during surgery to areas where the proximity of critical normal tissue prevents surgeons from removing as much tissue around the tumor as they would like
  • Intraoperative dural brachytherapy was developed by Cancer Center specialists. This new technique uses a custom-designed applicator with a radioactive element to safely deliver radiation to areas of the spine close to the protective sac around the spinal cord
  • Proton beam therapy, a highly focused form of radiation that delivers precise radiation to the tumor while helping to spare surrounding tissue

Learn more about radiation therapy.

Treating Cancer through Clinical TrialsThrough our clinical trials program, we are able to offer many new, investigational medications for appropriately selected patients. We participate in the Massachusetts General Hospital Phase I program, which offers an additional 15-20 Phase I trials for patients with advanced solid tumors.

Find Clinical Trials for bone cancers.

Find Targeted Therapy Trials for bone cancers.

Developing Better Therapies through ResearchResearch conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and other cancer centers is leading to better understanding of the genetic basis of soft tissue sarcomas. Our investigators are focused on identifying genetic mutations associated with sarcoma and biologic markers that predict tumor behavior. Findings will help shape new treatment strategies. Our laboratory researchers are also developing novel strategies to reverse drug resistance in sarcoma, supported in part by the Cancer Center’s world-renowned archive of sarcoma tissue and associated clinical information. Results are being used to design new clinical trials.

Bone Cancers

There are different types of bone cancers, which are typically defined as a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue.

Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a cancer that occurs primarily in the bone or soft tissue.

Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that develops in the osteoblast cells that form the outer covering of bone.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

Illuminations Program

Illuminations is a rotating art exhibit displayed in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The program aims to enlighten and encourage patients and their loved ones by enhancing our environment of care.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

Illuminations Program

Illuminations is a rotating art exhibit displayed in the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The program aims to enlighten and encourage patients and their loved ones by enhancing our environment of care.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

Cancer Center

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5130

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Our approach to patient care unites cancer specialists across the hospital to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

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