Treatment

Sarcoma

Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma Specialists

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine is home to one of the largest sarcoma programs in the Midwest.

Although the prevalence of these tumors of the bone, muscle, or connective tissue is less than one percent, sarcomas are not rare to the multidisciplinary team at Siteman, which sees hundreds of new patients a year and has a full array of treatments and clinical trials under way to treat these rare tumors.

History and Activity of the Sarcoma Center

  • The Sarcoma Center at Siteman is one of the most active in the United States and annually sees hundreds of patients — children and adults — for the evaluation and treatment of rare bone, muscle and connective tissue tumors.
  • Washington University School of Medicine is a founding member of the Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership, along with the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern
    University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. This collaboration enables patients to access the latest education, research and clinical trials available for the treatment of sarcomas.
  • Washington University School of Medicine also is a designated Sarcoma Research Center by the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) and participates in the Childrens Oncology Group (COG), as well as the NRG Oncology Group, a comprehensive research collaborative combining the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).

Specialized Approach to Sarcoma Treatment

  • A multidisciplinary team of specialists evaluates every sarcoma patient. Depending upon the type of sarcoma, specialists include adult and pediatric oncologists, orthopedic surgeons, gynecologic oncologists, musculoskeletal radiologists, interventional oncologists,and sarcoma pathologists.
  • A full range of treatment options is available — including surgery, radiation, ablation, and chemotherapy. Size, type, location and severity of a sarcoma determine treatment.
  • The standard of care for the treatment of metastatic and unresectable sarcomas is clinical trials. Siteman Cancer Center has the largest number of sarcoma clinical trials available in the Midwest, with more than 20 active or open clinical trials.
  • A dedicated, multidisciplinary Sarcoma Tumor Board meets weekly to evaluate treatment options for every sarcoma patient.
  • Washington University interventional oncologists oversee one of the largest spine, bone, and soft tissue tumor ablation centers in the country and specialize in treating patients with painful metastatic spinal, bone, or soft tissue tumors.
  • Interventional oncologists in the ablation center also have treatment options available for patients who cannot undergo radiation or who have reached their maximum radiation dose limit from previous procedures. Palliative treatment for pain also is available.
  • Siteman radiation oncologists who specialize in soft tissue sarcoma use tailored, highly focused radiation treatments for patients undergoing radiation therapy. Adjuvant and post-adjuvant radiation therapy are used, depending upon the type of tumor and its location.
  • With 50 percent of all sarcomas occurring in the arms or legs, Washington University School of Medicine has three fellowship-trained orthopedic oncology specialists who treat both adult and pediatric patients and see more than 300 surgical cases annually. The team has extensive experience with all types of musculoskeletal tumors, including benign and malignant tumors of the extremities and spine, as well as soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. They also have expertise in difficult pelvic and sacral resections.
  • In patients with sarcomas in the extremities, radiation oncologists may use Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) due to its effectiveness at reducing radiation to weight-bearing bones. Brachytherapy also is available in specific patient cases.
  • Proton beam therapy is available as a treatment option for tumors of the chest or abdomen to minimize the radiation dose to other critical organs, such as the heart or bowel. The Siteman Cancer Center and Barnes-Jewish has the only Proton Therapy Center in Missouri and in the region. Our proton technology is the world’s first compact proton beam accelerator and our specialists have helped to establish the worldwide treatment planning procedures and quality assurance processes for this advanced technology.
  • Radiation oncologists at Siteman Cancer Center are the first in the world to offer radiation therapy using MRI-guidance, which allows for improved soft tissue visualization and more precise targeting of radiation therapy.
  • Between 20 to 30 percent of all sarcomas are found to have specific chromosomal abnormalities. Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine have four subspecialty bone and soft tissue pathologists who are skilled in next generation sequencing and modern ancillary diagnostic techniques, including fluorescence in situ hybridization(FISH), which helps to identify chromosomal abnormalities for more accurate diagnosis and to guide treatment options.
  • Genetic counseling is available for patients with a suspected genetic link related to a sarcoma.

Siteman Cancer Center Facts

  • One of the largest adult and pediatric sarcoma programs in the United States.
  • A designated Sarcoma Research Program.
  • More than 20 active or open sarcoma clinical trials.
  • Multidisciplinary Sarcoma Tumor Board evaluates treatment options for all patients.
  • Founding member of the Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership.

Sarcoma Patient Referrals

Siteman offers a team of referral specialists who assist providers seeking treatment for their patients. To request an appointment, call 314-747-3046 or 877-251-6485 toll free from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Referrals also can be made online through a secure appointment request service here.

To expedite the referral process, our referral specialists may ask you to fax records to us at 314-454-8103.

The mailing address is:
4901 Forest Park Ave
Center for Outpatient Health 8th Floor
St. Louis, MO 63108
Mail Stop: 90-75-563

If appropriate, a financial specialist is available to answer questions about health insurance and identify resources for expenses related to cancer care.

Our referral specialists also handle requests for hospital-to-hospital transfers during regular business hours. Referring physicians will be quickly connected to a specialist physician on staff at Barnes-Jewish Hospital who can authorize a transfer. After-hours requests can be made by calling the hospital’s Doctors’ Access Line at 314-747-3251 or 800-252-3627.