Sarcoma Program | Orthopaedic Oncology | Loyola Medicine

Orthopaedic Oncology

Advanced Treatment of Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors

The multidisciplinary orthopaedic oncology group at Loyola Medicine brings an integrated approach to treating bony and soft tissue tumors, which can include both benign and malignant conditions, in pediatric and adult patients.

Our specialists meet every other Tuesday in the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center to discuss current and ongoing patient cases. The collaborative review available at Loyola has shown to yield better outcomes due to the careful planning for surgical needs, advanced chemotherapy and radiation oncology services and thorough post-operative care. Our goal is to provide the most successful outcome from the cancer and quality of life perspectives.  We emphasize the importance of precise diagnosis, methodical imaging and customized treatment for every patient.

Comprehensive Sarcoma Care

Cancers arising from the musculoskeletal system (sarcomas) are rare diseases. They can be challenging to diagnose and treat, which is why it is important to seek your care at a cancer center that specializes in sarcomas. The Sarcoma Program at Loyola Medicine combines the expertise of a multidisciplinary oncology team with comprehensive testing and treatment options for patients with a known or potential bony or soft tissue sarcoma. The Sarcoma Program team includes experts in orthopaedic oncology, musculoskeletal pathology, musculoskeletal-trained radiology, radiation oncology, musculoskeletal pediatric hematology/oncology, cardiothoracic surgery, surgical oncology and genetics for certain syndromes and molecular diagnostics. Together, our team makes up every component patients may need to successfully treat their sarcoma.

Why Choose Loyola Medicine for Orthopaedic Oncology Treatment?

Loyola’s orthopaedic specialists coordinate care with surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and tumor imaging specialists to deliver the highest level of care. Our doctors aim to evaluate and diagnose your condition promptly with advanced imaging and biopsy techniques. We offer everything you will need from diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation in one location.

Every member of the orthopaedic oncology team is on the faculty at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and actively engaged in cancer research. The Sarcoma Program also serves as a conduit to clinical trials, which can help provide patients with novel and innovative medications and therapies for orthopaedic cancer treatment. We are committed to seeing you through the entire care process for treatment and beyond to ensure the disease is appropriately monitored and continuously treated. 

What Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors are Treated?

Loyola’s expert in orthopaedic oncology has vast experience treating a wide range of benign and malignant bone and soft tissue tumors. These tumors may appear in the extremities, pelvis, spine, sternum, ribs and elsewhere. 

Benign bone tumors do not spread to other parts of the body, are usually not life-threatening and can usually be treated surgically. Malignant bone tumors may metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. 

Benign (noncancerous) tumors treated at Loyola include:

  • Unicameral bone cyst (UBC)/Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC)
  • Osteochondroma
  • Enchondroma
  • Giant cell tumor of bone
  • Chondroblastoma
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Lipoma
  • Hemangioma
  • Neurofibroma/Schwannoma

Some of the malignant (cancerous) tumors treated at Loyola include:

  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma (undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma/malignant fibrous histiocytoma, synovial sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma and liposarcoma)

Loyola’s expert orthopaedic surgeons also treat metastatic bone disease, multiple myeloma and lymphoma.

How are Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors Diagnosed?

Some people with a bone tumor may notice a painless mass on an arm or a leg. Others may experience pain or break a bone due to the tumor in the bone. Some bone tumors are found during an imaging test for another medical reason. If you think you may have a bone or soft-tissue tumor, make an appointment to see a Loyola doctor as soon as possible. 

Your Loyola doctor will order imaging tests to diagnose bone cancer. This may include X-rays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT scans (computed tomography). Your doctor may also order blood or urine tests and may perform a biopsy if a tumor is found. 

How are Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors Treated?

At Loyola, a multidisciplinary team will care for you and determine the best course of treatment for your specific case. Loyola’s expert team has access to the most advanced imaging, medical and surgical tools available. 

For patients with benign bone tumors, many will require no treatment but may need to be monitored. Some benign tumors are removed due to pain or suspicion that they may grow, become cancerous or may spread. 

For patients with malignant bone tumors, your Loyola healthcare team will focus on treating your cancer and preserving function in the affected part of the body. The location, size and stage of your tumor will help your Loyola doctors determine your best possible treatment plan. Your treatment for malignant bone tumors may include:

  • Surgery (limb-sparing or amputation)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

Tumors in the arms and legs are approached with great care and precision. In many cases where a bone tumor affects an extremity, patients can receive limb-sparing surgery. A prosthesis or bone implant may be used to replace a section of bone that needs to be removed. In cases where the tumor is very large and involves blood vessels and nerves, amputation may be recommended by your Loyola doctor as a last option after all other treatments have been considered.