Duke’s sarcoma specialists are nationally recognized for their diagnosis and treatment of sarcomas, rare cancers that occur in bones and soft tissues. Our experts offer the latest treatment options available today, preserve healthy tissue and bone, and perform comprehensive limb-sparing surgeries to avoid the need for amputation. We help you improve your chances for a positive outcome.

After sarcoma, longtime nurse Cindy McAbee is back on her feet after rehabilitation at Duke.

Expert Care for Bone Cancer and All Forms of Sarcoma

There are two main types of sarcoma. Malignant tumors that occur in the bones are called osteosarcomas, bone sarcomas or bone cancers. Malignant tumors that occur in soft tissue — including fat, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, joints and other tissue — have many different names but are generally known as soft tissue sarcomas. Receiving your care at a medical center with the level of expertise we offer is crucial because sarcomas are rare cancers, representing only one percent of all adult cancer cases. And, because there are more than 50 types of sarcoma, it can be difficult to identify the type and appropriate treatment.

We have the expertise to identify the type of sarcoma you are experiencing. We offer you the latest treatments available today for these rare cancers, including high-dose radiation that specifically targets your soft tissue sarcoma or bone cancer, limb-sparing surgeries and advanced imaging technology that pinpoints the location of your tumor and helps us distinguish it from healthy tissue. We give you access to every possibility and minimize your chances of undergoing an amputation.

Chose Duke for your sarcoma treatment because we offer:

  • National reputation. We are one of the top cancer programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest referral centers in the Southeast. We are a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and are part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving care for our patients. We are also part of the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration, a group of leading sarcoma centers in the U.S. dedicated to improving the care of sarcoma patients through research and clinical trials.
  • Fast access to our treatment experts. You meet with a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and orthopaedic surgeon, all in the same day. You leave your visit with a thorough understanding of your treatment options, and with a comprehensive treatment plan in place. In addition, our specialists in soft tissue and bone sarcoma meet regularly to discuss your care, and to make sure your treatment plan is the best it can be.
  • Comprehensive sarcoma team. Your medical team specializes in diagnosing and treating soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer. Patients who undergo rotationplasty, which removes diseased knee joints but preserves healthy ankle joints or, in rare instances, amputation also have access to our team of prosthetists and physical therapists.
  • Limb-sparing approach. We are known for our expertise in treatments that preserve limbs threatened by cancer. Only a few decades ago, most patients with a soft tissue or bone sarcoma in their arms and legs had to face amputation. Today, our surgical team specializes in many alternatives to amputation.
  • Computer-navigated cancer surgery. Our operating rooms are equipped with intraoperative CT and MRI imaging technology that helps us carefully plan for surgery and precisely remove your tumor. Deeply rooted soft tissue and bone sarcomas can be challenging to remove completely, especially while trying to separate these tumors from important nerves and blood vessels that must remain unharmed. This technology allows our surgeons to identify your cancer and operate under the guidance of high-resolution, 3-D images.
  • Clinical trial access. You may be eligible to participate in clinical trials for sarcoma, which gives you access to new therapies before they are available elsewhere. One of our ongoing trials is testing a novel technique, developed in part by a Duke researcher. This approach uses fluorescent probes to light up a tumor so surgeons can find and remove your cancer, helping preserve more healthy muscle, bone, nerves and blood vessels than ever before.
  • Comparative oncology program. Our doctors and researchers believe that we may never fully understand rare cancers like sarcoma if we only study humans. That’s why we have a team researching how sarcoma behaves in animals. Our research team includes Dr. William Eward, who is both an orthopaedic oncologist and a small animal veterinarian.
  • Support to you and your family. Our comprehensive support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of cancer treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.  



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