Sarcoma Treatment Options

Treatment approaches for sarcoma can vary. Surgical resection, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are used either individually or in combinations based on the subtype, location, size, grade, stage of the tumor.

Surgical Treatment

The main goal of surgery is to remove the tumor completely. For certain tumors, treatment may require surgeons from different disciplines to work together to successfully and safely remove the tumor. For extremity sarcomas, the second goal in the surgical treatment of sarcoma is limb salvage and preserving function and quality of life.

Each patient’s treatment plan will be different. We encourage you to speak in detail with our Sarcoma Program team members on the plan they recommend for you.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used on some patients with sarcomas. Radiation therapy can kill microscopic disease, reducing the risk of local recurrence (the cancer returning in the same location). Sometimes, radiation can shrink a tumor to facilitate surgery, such that a critical structure like a nerve or blood vessel bundle can be spared.

Radiation therapy can be utilized before or after surgery, but is determined based on a case by case basis.

Hoag Radiation Oncology Lobby

Hoag's Radiation Oncologists (left to right) Brian Kim, M.D., Craig Cox, M.D. and Peter Chen, M.D.

Radiation Therapy Modalities

Hoag Radiation Oncology offers advanced therapy to effectively treat sarcoma. One therapy that is often used at Hoag is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). IMRT improves the delivery of radiation. Studies show that this technique may improve the efficacy of treatment and can reduce the risk of side effects, such as bone fracture in extremity sarcoma. Hoag provides this therapy option utilizing one of these advanced machines: Tomotherapy, which delivers a special form of IMRT called Helical IMRT or Elekta Agility, which delivers a special form on IMRT called Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).

Your team will discuss the different treatment options with you, to determine the best plan of care.


Although not utilized in all cases, Chemotherapy may be of benefit in certain subtypes of sarcoma. At Hoag, our medical oncologists offer the “standard” chemotherapy for sarcoma. Through an affiliation with Keck Medicine of USC, Hoag’s Sarcoma Program also has access to the latest clinical trials that will test and evaluate the efficacy of new drugs for sarcoma. These trials include targeted therapies and immunotherapy.

To learn more about Hoag Sarcoma Program, or to contact the Hoag Sarcoma Program Clinic, please call 877-427-8208.