At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, we provide the most advanced sarcoma treatment plans tailored to the individual needs of each patient. Sarcomas are commonly treated using a combination of therapies that may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation depending on several factors such as:
- The location and type of sarcoma
- Whether the cancer has spread
- Possible impact on the body
- General health
Surgery is the main treatment for soft tissue sarcomas. Tumor as well as a margin of healthy tissue around it is surgically removed to take out as many cancer cells as possible. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also be used before or after surgery.
Chemotherapy may be used as a patient’s main treatment for sarcoma, or it may be used in conjunction with surgery or radiation. A combination of two or more chemotherapy drugs may also be used.
Advancements in radiation therapy techniques enable physicians to target tumors more precisely, delivering the maximum amount of radiation with the least damage to healthy cells. Radiation therapy usually is not a patient’s main treatment for sarcoma, but it may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells. Patients who are unable to undergo surgery may receive radiation to help manage pain and other symptoms.
Radiation treatments available include:
- Brachytherapy: Tiny radioactive seeds are placed in the body close to the tumor
- 3D-conformal radiation therapy: Several radiation beams are given in the exact shape of the tumor
- Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT): Treatment is tailored to the specific shape of the tumor