Explore the Bone Cancer Treatment Program


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
  • Paget's Sarcoma
  • Lymphoma of the Bone
  • Malignant Fibrous Tumors of Bone
  • Metastatic Carcinoma to Bone (thyroid, breast, prostate, lung, renal cell, uterine, colon)

Innovative Approaches

At 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 and 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.

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging Cancer

Our 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

Multidisciplinary Patient Care

Our 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

Mass General Cancer Center's Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program provides specialized resources and support for our AYA patients. Patients can access supportive care resources including social work, psychology, psychiatry, sexual health and fertility, lifestyle medicine, integrative therapies, and parenting guidance. Dedicated AYA clinicians and program manager are available to connect patients to these resources and answer any questions.

Medical Oncology

We 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 Care

Our 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 Therapies

Our 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 for sarcomas.

Developing Better Therapies through Research

Research 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.

The Sarcoma/Oncology Computational Biology Laboratory conducts cancer genomic/bioinformatics studies in order to detect molecular patterns relevant to tumor outcome and response to conventional or novel treatments.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of sarcomas that use the latest cancer treatments.

View clinical trials for sarcomas.

Compassionate, Team-Based & Personalized Care

The Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology is one of the largest and most experienced sarcoma and chordoma treatment groups in the country. Our team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of bone and soft tissue tumors, and provides the latest and most innovative treatments matched with compassionate care. Learn more from our team in this video.

Patient Resources

Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program

Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program

This program addresses the unique needs of patients with cancer ages 15-39.

Cancer Rehabilitation Program

Cancer Rehabilitation Program

This program helps patients regain physical abilities and maintain independence.

Supportive Care

Supportive Care

We offer a variety of education and support resources to help you and your family.

Bone & Spine Metastasis Program

Bone & Spine Metastasis Program

Personalized, team-oriented care for patients whose cancer has spread to their bones.

Preparing for Your Visit

Preparing for Your Visit

A checklist of items to bring with you for your first visit and helpful information.

Workshops & Support Groups

Workshops & Support Groups

We offer a wide range of integrative therapies, workshops and support groups.

Wellness Calendar

Wellness Calendar

See our Wellness and Support Program calendar.

Select Publications

View select publications from the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology.

View publications