Physicians from the Division of Orthopedic Oncology work as part of an integrated team of specialists who provide efficient, coordinated care for people with tumors of the bone or soft tissues. The objective of all treatment is to completely remove the tumor and to kill any tumor cells that may have spread to other locations. This is achieved with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Some diseases treated within the division are listed below.

Benign Bone Tumors

Benign bone tumors do not metastasize or spread to other areas. Many benign tumors are developmental abnormalities that do not require treatment. Others can be very aggressive and destroy bone quickly.

Common benign bone tumors that require treatment include:

  • Aneurysmal bone cyst
  • Chondroblastoma
  • Chondromyxoid fibroma
  • Giant cell tumor
  • Osteoblastoma
  • Osteoid osteoma

Common benign tumors that may require treatment include:

  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Metaphyseal fibrous defect
  • Osteochondroma
  • Unicameral bone cyst

Malignant Bone Tumors

All malignant bone tumors require treatment. The likelihood of treatment success increases when these tumors are diagnosed and treated early.

Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Soft tissue sarcomas are very rare. As the name implies, soft tissue sarcomas develop in soft tissues, such as muscle or fat, rather than bone. Most occur in the extremities or pelvic area. There are many types of soft tissue sarcomas, but most are treated in the same way. Some common soft tissue sarcomas include:

  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Liposarcoma
  • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Synovial cell sarcoma

Treatment

Chemotherapy (cancer-killing drugs) is used to treat bone and soft tissue cancer in two ways. Primary chemotherapy is given before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor so that it can be more easily removed. Adjuvant chemotherapy is used after surgery to destroy any cells that may remain or that may have spread to other parts of the body.

Radiotherapy relies on high-energy X-rays to shrink or destroy malignant tumor cells.

Cancer affecting the bone usually requires surgery, but not necessarily amputation. The surgeon tries to remove the primary cancer completely. A second goal is to minimize the impact of the surgery on the function and appearance of the affected part of the body.

Patients who undergo surgery receive a thorough evaluation by an anesthesiologist prior to surgery. If a patient will benefit from chemotherapy or radiation prior to surgery, medical and radiation oncologists work with the surgeon to coordinate the most appropriate preoperative and postoperative therapy.

Inpatient and outpatient surgery are performed at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus, and Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus. Intraoperative radiation and brachytherapy are available if appropriate for the patient. Critical care services, medical subspecialists, and ancillary support for the very latest in postoperative care are available to patients undergoing complex surgical resection and reconstruction.