Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program


Sarcomas are rare and complex tumors, accounting for about 1% of all new adult cancer cases and affecting approximately 12,000 individuals per year, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute. It has been shown that patients who seek sarcoma treatment from a multidisciplinary, subspecialized team who maintains high patient volumes have the best clinical outcomes.


The Hoag Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program, in alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, was the first comprehensive, integrated sarcoma program in Orange County. Under the leadership of Program Director Nader Nassif, M.D., and in collaboration with Hoag Orthopedic Institute, the program brings together surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, and radiologists who provide coordinated and advanced sarcoma care. The team is highly experienced in the entire range of bone and soft tissue sarcomas and skillfully manages the most complex cases, including retroperitoneal and intra-abdominal sarcomas.

In 2017, the Sarcoma Alliance designated Hoag an approved sarcoma site based on their criteria of high volume, multidisciplinary physician participation, access to clinical trials, specialized personnel, sarcoma tumor boards, advanced imaging capabilities, and other benchmarks. Burton Eisenberg, M.D., executive medical director of Hoag Family Cancer Institute and Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair has served on the Sarcoma Alliance’s Medical Advisory Board since 2002.


Tumor genetic profiling offered to all sarcoma patients at Hoag provides an advantage to patients with this rare disease. Tumor samples are sent for gene profiling and bioinformatic analysis that may help the team home in on an individualized treatment option for each individual patient based on the specific genetic defects. The results of this testing are presented and discussed for clinical relevance at the Sarcoma Tumor Board.

Radiation treatment plan for sarcoma of the thigh

Hoag’s Radiology Department offers the full spectrum of advanced imaging for bone and soft tissue sarcomas. In addition to CT scans that are low dose with the highest resolution imaging capabilities well suited to detecting bone legions, Hoag’s 3 Tesla (3T) MRI machines offer the best high-resolution capabilities to more effectively delineate cancer staging and find the extent of disease in soft tissue tumors.

Hoag is the first hospital on the W est Coast to routinely offer PET/MR, which enhances ability to detect metastatic disease in bone and soft tissue sarcoma patients. A dedicated radiologist who specializes in musculoskeletal imaging is integrated with Hoag’s Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program.


Tumor Board

A multidisciplinary Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Tumor Board connects the physician specialists and support staff to review patient cases and develop treatment plans. It is attended by surgical and orthopedic oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, palliative care specialists, and the program nurse navigator.

The Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Tumor Board meets on the 1ST, 3RD, and 5TH Friday of every month at 7:30 a.m. Videoconferencing connects specialists at three sites including the Patty & George Hoag Cancer Center in Newport Beach (primary site), the Hoag Cancer Center Irvine, and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is moderated by Nader Nassif, M.D.

To submit a case for the Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Tumor Board, contact Sarcoma Nurse Navigator, Lori Berberet, R.N., M.S., at 949-764-6656 or [email protected] or Rosana Figueroa at 949-764-7044 or [email protected]


Dr. Nader Nassif is one of few fellowship-trained orthopedic oncologists in Orange County. His expertise is complemented by two other fellowship-trained surgical oncologists in the program who have vast experience in bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Through collaboration with plastic and reconstruction surgeons, free flap and complex reconstruction are incorporated, significantly enhancing care for the patient.

Medical Oncology

Hoag’s sarcoma program collaborates with medical oncologists who subspecialize in sarcoma. This includes collaboration with medical oncologists at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center who focus all of their clinical and research time on sarcoma.

Radiation Oncology

Hoag’s radiation oncologists are experienced in treating sarcoma patients with advanced radiation techniques. The department maintains state-of-the-art equipment and technology for the delivery of Helical Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy, which can help reduce the risk of bone fracture in extremity sarcoma.

For more information call: 949-722-6237