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Oncology Service

As members of the Cancer Center at MGH, our Orthopaedic Oncology team provides compassionate care to children, adolescents and adults with primary bone and soft tissue tumors (benign and malignant) and metastatic disease.

Our Doctors

MassGeneral is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

Compassionate, Multidisciplinary Treatment For more than 35 years, the MGH Orthopaedic Oncology Service has treated children, adolescents and adults with benign and malignant bone and soft tissue tumors in addition to metastatic disease.

Bone and soft tissue sarcomas are among the rarest malignant tumors treated. Because of this, we take a comprehensive approach to treating these rare tumors, incorporating every resource the hospital has to offer to ensure our patients receive the best and most current treatment available.

Treatment plans are coordinated through our team approach and includes orthopaedic oncology surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and nurse practitioners. Medical and surgical experts work together seamlessly to provide treatment programs that are individually designed for each patient. We carefully assess outcomes and take pride in making it possible for our patients to live their lives as fully as possible.

Dr. Francis Hornicek, Chief of Orthopaedic Oncology at MassGeneral Hospital

Dr. Hornicek, Chief of the Oncology Service, with a patient

What to expect When you meet with our doctors, we will perform an in-depth evaluation, and we will coordinate with our team members to confirm a diagnosis. Treatment begins as quickly as possible.

Benign tumors are not life threatening, and most are surgically removed. Some 'aggressive' benign tumors may require closer follow-up after removal.

If your biopsy indicates a malignancy, you will hear the word sarcoma or cancer. Your case will be reviewed by our team to determine the best treatment plan for you, which may include any or all of the following: chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery.

No matter what type of tumor you have, our team will be there every step of the way to help you navigate through your treatment and care.

Orthopaedic Oncology

History of the Oncology Service

Our Team Patients from around the world seek our doctors for their vast clinical experience, active research efforts and use of proven protocols.

five members of the orthopaedic oncology team at MassGeneral Hospital

Five members of the Orthopaedic Oncology team. (L to R): Anne Fiore, NP, Dr. Joseph Schwab, Al Ferreira, RN, Dr. Francis Hornicek and Dr. Yen-Lin Chen.

Active Research Efforts When patients are diagnosed, many questions go through their mind like Why me? What caused my tumor? Why did I get this type of cancer?

These questions can only be answered through ongoing research. Our team of world-renowned doctors conduct a variety of research studies to gather information so that we can begin to answer those questions for you. Depending on the type of cancer, you may be asked to participate in an ongoing study.

Patients living with cancer hold the key to future treatment discoveries and possible cures.

Some of the breakthroughs resulting from our research activities include:

  • Development of an intraoperative method of irradiation of the dura in patients with primary sarcomas of the spine (working with radiation oncologists)
  • A 240% increase in sarcoma clinical trials
  • Advances in orthopaedic oncology implants

We see patients with a variety of different bone and soft tissue tumors. Because each type of tumor is different, we have compiled educational materials to give you more detailed information.

Tumors: Bone & Soft Tissue Tumors / Benign vs. Malignant

There are a variety of types of bone and soft tissue tumors, and each one has its own particular behavior, treatment and patient outcome.

Determining Diagnosis: Biopsy & Staging Studies

Your first office visit may be overwhelming because we are attempting to confirm a diagnosis for you. After your first visit, we may need to schedule a biopsy. There are four types of biopsies: fine needle aspiration, tru-cut needle biopsy, CT scan or ultrasound-guided needle biopsy and open biopsy.

Benign Tumors

Benign Bone Tumors

Benign bone tumors almost never metastasize and are best classified by the matrix which the tumor cells produce such as bone, cartilage, fibrous tissue, fat or blood vessel. There are a number of different types of benign bone tumors, which we list and describe here.

Benign Soft Tissue Tumors

Benign soft tissue tumors are categorized according to their behavior. Read more about the different types of benign soft tissue tumors.

Primary Malignant Tumors

Malignant Bone Tumors

Malignant bone tumors are a group of lesions that vary in their tissue makeup and behavior. There are a number of different types of malignant bone tumors, which we list and describe here.

Malignant Soft Tissue Tumors

Malignant soft tissue tumors are categorized by their behavior to metastasize ranging from low grade to high grade. Read more about the different types of malignant soft tissue tumors.

Metastatic Disease

Metastatic tumors are started by cancer cells that come from a tumor somewhere else in the body. The cancer cells break away from the original or primary tumor and travel in the blood to other parts of the body.

Types of Treatment

Radiation Therapy

There are four types of radiation therapy used for our patients which are administered by the radiation oncologists: Preoperative or Postoperative External Beam Radiation, Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), Internal Radiation/Radiation Implants and Proton Beam Theraphy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is drug treatment given in pill, injection and intravenous forms to kill cancer cells. This may lead to shrinkage of the tumor, but chemotherapy is primarily aimed at preventing the cancer from spreading.

Surgery

The treatment for bone and soft tissue sarcomas has improved and there are many survivors. The primary goal of surgery is to completely and safely remove the tumor.

Below is information about some of the conditions and cancers we treat.

Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis is a disease that may cause bone or joint collapse as a result of loss of blood supply to the bone due to injury or other causes (such as long-term use of certain medications).

Chondroblastoma

Sometimes called Codman's tumor, a chondroblastoma is a rare type of benign bone tumor that originates from cartilage.

Chondrosarcoma

Chondrosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that develops in cartilage cells.

Ewing Sarcoma

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

Fibrous Dysplasia

Fibrous dysplasia is a chronic disorder in which bone expands due to abnormal development of fibrous tissue, often resulting in uneven growth of bones, pain, brittle bones, or bone deformity.

Giant Cell Tumor

A giant cell tumor is one that is made up of a large number of benign (non-cancerous) cells that form an aggressive tumor - usually near the end of the bone near a joint.

Myeloma Bone Disease / Multiple Myeloma

Myeloma bone disease is cancer that affects certain white blood cells called plasma cells.

Neurocutaneous Syndromes

Neurocutaneous syndrome is a broad term for a group of neurologic disorders that can cause tumors to grow inside the brain, spinal cord, organs, skin and skeletal bones.

Osteochondroma

Also called osteocartilaginous exostoses, osteochondroma is an overgrowth of cartilage and bone near the end of the bone near the growth plate.

Osteosarcoma

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

Paget's Disease of the Bone

Paget's disease of the bone is a chronic bone disorder in which bones become enlarged and deformed. Bone may become dense, but fragile, because of excessive breakdown and deformation of bone.

 

Living with Cancer and Surviving Cancer

Living with cancer causes many physical, psychological, social and spiritual changes in our patients and families.

HOPES Program

The HOPES Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services plus education and support workshops. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Blum Cancer Resource Room

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides cancer patients and their families with information and resources for living with cancer.

Survivorship Program

The Survivorship Program provides treatment, counseling and support for patients and their loved ones facing the challenges of living with and beyond cancer.

Your Guide to Radiation Therapy (PDF)

Read the Radiation Oncology patient information guide to learn more about the different types of radiation treatments and what patients can expect.

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.

 

Follow-up Treatment Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk

New study reveals benefits of long-term treatment for women with of hormone dependent breast tumors.

Santa's sleigh stops at MGHfC

MGH Hotline 12.18.09 Santa Claus and his helpers made an early trip from the North Pole Dec. 14 to bring holiday cheer and gifts to the young patients at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC).

Henry Mankin, MD, recognized

Henry Mankin, MD, an honorary staff member of the MGH Department of Orthopædics, the Edith M. Ashley Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and a professor at the MGH Institute for Health Professions, has been selected the recipient of the 2010 Orthopædic Research Society/Orthopædic Research and Education Foundation (ORS/OREF) Distinguished Investigator Award.

A special bond

MGH Hotline 08.06.10 This summer, one MGH physician traded his white coat for a suit jacket and his stethoscope for a wedding ceremony script when he officiated the wedding of one of his longtime patients.

Baselga first incumbent of Chabner Chair in Hematology Oncology

MGH Hotline 12.10.10 A named chair is one of the highest honors a physician may receive in his or her lifetime.

Orthopædics staff make festive delivery

MGH Hotline 12.24.10 Just as snow began to fall in Boston on Dec. 20, Santa Claus and his elves arrived at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) to deliver gifts to pediatric patients on the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit, Ellison 17 and 18, the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Mass General Hospital Physicians make “The List”

Boston Magazine recognizes 134 MGH physicians on its annual list of top doctors in the Boston area.

A special first dance

As a child suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, Marcela Gaviria complained to her surgeon, Dempsey Springfield, MD, that she would never get married.

4th Annual Sacral Tumor Study Group Conference

The 4th Annual Sacral Tumor Study Group Conference, a collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, took place on January 19, 2013.

A Conversation with Dr. Henry J. Mankin

Dr. Henry Mankin talks with Dr. Harry Rubash about his distinguished career in Orthopaedics. Make a gift to the Dr. Henry J. Mankin Endowment Fund: https://give.massgeneral.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=582

Orthopaedic Oncology

Meet the members of our Orthopaedic Oncology team

Living with Cancer and Surviving Cancer

Living with cancer causes many physical, psychological, social and spiritual changes in our patients and families.

HOPES Program

The HOPES Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services plus education and support workshops. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Blum Cancer Resource Room

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides cancer patients and their families with information and resources for living with cancer.

Survivorship Program

The Survivorship Program provides treatment, counseling and support for patients and their loved ones facing the challenges of living with and beyond cancer.

Your Guide to Radiation Therapy (PDF)

Read the Radiation Oncology patient information guide to learn more about the different types of radiation treatments and what patients can expect.

Orthopaedic Oncology

Phone: 617-724-3700


Orthopaedic Oncology Service

make an appointment with the Foot and Ankle Service

Phone: 617-724-3700

Orthopaedic Oncology Surgeons

Dr. Francis Hornicek, Chief, MGH Orthopaedic Oncology Service

Francis Hornicek, MD, PhD
Chief, Orthopaedic Oncology Service
ph: 617-724-6802
fax: 617-726-6823
Yawkey, Suite 3B, Boston

Dr. Kevin Raskin, Orthopaedic Oncology Surgeon

Kevin Raskin, MD
Orthopaedic Oncology
ph: 617-724-3700
fax: 617-726-6823
Yawkey, Suite 3B, Boston

Dr. Joseph Schwab, Orthopaedic Spine and Oncology Surgeon

Joseph Schwab, MD
Orthopaedic Oncology; Spine
ph: 617-724-8636
fax: 617-726-7587
Yawkey, Suite 3A, Boston

   

Advanced Practitioners

Anne Fiore, NP, Orthopaedic Oncology Service

Anne Fiore, NP
Nurse Practitioner
Outpatient & Inpatient
ph: 617-724-3700
fax: 617-726-6823
Yawkey, Suite 3B Boston

Lorelei Francis, PA-C, Spine Service

Lorelei Francis, PA-C
Physician Assistant
Outpatient & Inpatient

Kayla Quinn, NP, Orthopaedic Oncology Service

Kayla Quinn, NP
Nurse Practitioner
Inpatient