Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that appears in a small percentage of the adult and juvenile populations. When diagnosed with a sarcoma or malignant tumor, many patients want to learn more about their cancer, which is why they visit our cancer treatment center in Los Angeles. Sarcomas comprise a complex family of cancers covering a wide variety of distinct diseases that can be categorized into two broad areas:
Sarcoma of the Soft Tissues
There are over 75 subtypes of soft tissue sarcomas with the most frequently occurring found in the connective tissue of the tendon, ligament or muscle. These malignant tumor subtypes vary in their tissue of origin, clinical behavior or sensitivity to certain therapies, aggressiveness, growth pattern, and age of onset.
Sarcoma of the Bone
This rare type of sarcoma cancer appears in the bone, typically in the extremities or trunk (including upper arm, shoulder, ribs and legs). The four types of primary bone cancer include chondrosarcomas, osteosarcomas, giant cell tumor of the bone, and the Ewing’s family of tumors. Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma occur more frequently in children and adolescents; chondrosarcoma and giant cell tumor of the bone occur more often in adults.
Soft tissue sarcomas occur in only 1% of adult cancers and comprise approximately 15% of childhood cancers. Bone sarcoma is more infrequent with approximately 2,500 new cases diagnosed each year for adults and children.
Through our affiliated organization the Sarcoma Oncology Center, we have gained international recognition as a premiere treatment facility exclusively for soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcoma patients. Our medical team at the Cancer Center of Southern California helps patients diagnosed with advanced malignant tumors receive novel treatment solutions for the best possible outcome.
We are leaders in advanced investigation protocols, and as a result, we have created one of the most sought after research centers in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcomas, tumors, and other cancer types. We are dedicated to defeating the disease which we accomplish through our clinical research in drug development and integrated treatment programs. We collaborate with radiologists, surgeons, pathologists and radiation oncologists at other prominent institutions to ensure that the complexity of each patient’s case is addressed in its entirety.
The identifiable symptoms of sarcomas are minimal and there is no routine screening test for soft tissue or bone sarcomas; however, there are a few signs that could indicate a malignant tumor is present:
Soft Tissue Sarcoma
- A painless lump which could eventually become sore or painful
- Blockage in the gastrointestinal system, or blood in vomit or stool
- Pain is the most common symptom of bone sarcomas, accompanied by swelling and tenderness (from a tumor in or near a joint) or restricted movement. Other symptoms may include fever, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia.
- A painless lump which could eventually become sore or painful
A physician must be consulted if any of these symptoms manifest, but a person should understand that these symptoms are general and could be attributed to another medical condition.
Treatments for Tumors
As one of the more complex forms of cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and bone sarcomas are best treated using an integrated treatment plan. The Cancer Center of Southern California applies a team-oriented, multi-modal approach collaborating with prominent surgeons, pathologists and radiation oncologists. We work with colleagues affiliated with UCLA, USC, Stanford, M.D. Anderson, St. John’s and Cedars Sinai, and together, we develop and implement the most effective multi-modal treatment plan for each patient. We are dedicated to helping our patients defeat cancer and become intimately involved in each patient’s care attending to each case comprehensively.
Developing a course of treatment is a process unique to each patient. We evaluate the stage and grade of a tumor, previous treatments (if any), extent of the cancer, biopsy results, and other unique factors. Next, we discuss all sarcoma treatment options with our patients and review all possible side effects. This helps prepare our patients for all aspects of their treatment so they know what to expect.
Treatment options for a soft tissue sarcoma and/or bone sarcoma can include either one of a combination of:
The expert oncologists at the Cancer Center of Southern California have pioneered advances in clinical search and trials, so we have access to the most novel cancer drugs and capable of exceeding standard treatment if needed. Our oncologists have made significant breakthroughs in experiential therapies, including Immunotherapy Targeted Therapy, Long Term Interferon Treatment, Therapeutic Tumor Vaccines, PD1 and PDL1 Inhibitors, and Hyperthermia Therapy. We encourage our patients to partner with their physicians and collaborate together. It’s been our experience that through patient and provider teamwork, the best possible outcome can be reached.
Dr. Chawla is the international principal investigator of Dasatinib (SARC009) which is the most effective treatment for advanced osteosarcoma. Clinical trials for this medicine were sponsored by the Sarcoma Alliance and the drug was approved by the FDA.
We are internationally recognized for our pioneering efforts in numerous clinical drug trials and have already led successful research for two soft tissue sarcoma therapies Aldoxorubicin and Pazopanib and Eribulin for metastatic breast cancer. The recent phase II approval of PH-302 confirms we remain at the forefront of research. PH-302 is a highly successful new therapy for advanced soft tissue sarcoma, and the drug trial has proceeded into phase III of the study.
Additionally, the Comprehensive Cancer Center has several phase one and phase two studies in progress. We actively participate in clinical trials which gives us access to the newest drugs that can be used for our patients’ benefit.
Read more about soft tissue sarcoma on WebMD.com.
Contact the Oncology Experts for More Information
We are deeply committed to providing the highest quality of care to all of our patients. Each patient receives the careful attention of an expert team of medical specialists through our multi-modal treatment approach for malignant tumors. Please contact our soft tissue sarcoma treatment center at 310-552-9999 to schedule a consultation with one of our Los Angeles physicians.
As experts in sarcoma treatment and research, we have great expertise in helping patients with this rare cancer.
Next,read about gastrointestinal cancers.