Cancer is complex — there is no routine soft tissue sarcoma, nor is there ever a routine way to treat it.

The OSUCCC – James physicians are nationally and internationally renowned in research and patient care for their one particular cancer. Because of that expertise and understanding of cancer’s complexities and how it acts and reacts differently in each person, the very best outcomes — and the most effective means of treating cancer patients — come from a team approach.

At the OSUCCC – James, soft tissue sarcoma patients have a team of experts that includes medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists, nutritionists and more. Also on that team are soft tissue sarcoma researchers who help sequence tumors to identify key molecules that fuel each patient’s cancer and who then develop drugs that target only those particular molecules. Many of our experts also help write the national clinical guidelines for treatments.

As one of only four cancer centers in the country funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials, the OSUCCC – James offers patients access to more clinical trials than nearly any other cancer hospital in the country and to more of the latest, most targeted, most effective treatment options — many that are available nowhere else but at the OSUCCC – James.

There are several types of treatment for soft tissue sarcoma. The OSUCCC – James team of subspecialists determine the best treatment for each patient based on his or her specific, individual soft tissue sarcoma. Patients may receive one treatment or a combination of treatments.

Treatment Options


Most patients who have soft tissue sarcoma have surgery. Surgery may be the only treatment necessary for some soft tissue sarcomas.

Surgery may consist of one of the following procedures:

Local Excision

A surgeon removes the soft tissue tumor and some normal tissue around the tumor. The surgery also is called wide local excision.

Limb-Sparing Surgery

A surgeon removes the soft tissue tumor in a patient’s arm or leg without amputating the limb. The patient may receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor. A graft of the patient’s healthy tissue and bone or artificial materials may replace tissue and bone removed during surgery.


In rare cases, the doctor must remove a patient’s arm or leg to treat soft tissue sarcoma in a limb.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to destroy cancer cells.

A patient with soft tissue sarcoma may receive radiation therapy before or after a surgery that removes a tumor. Radiation can shrink a tumor to make surgery more successful. Postoperative radiation therapy is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Conformal Therapy

Conformal therapy is a procedure that uses a computer to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor. This allows doctors to give the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing the normal tissue as much as possible. Also called 3-dimensional radiation therapy and 3D-CRT.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by destroying the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Chemotherapy administered before surgery can shrink a soft tissue sarcoma tumor. After surgery, this treatment lowers risk that the soft tissue sarcoma will come back.

Regional Hyperthermia Therapy

Exposes tissue around the tumor to high temperatures to destroy cancer cells or make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy drugs.

Isolated Limb Perfusion

Directs chemotherapy drugs to the arm or leg with a soft tissue sarcoma. The therapy delivers a high dose of drugs directly to the tumor.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Clinical Trials

For cancer patients, clinical trials mean hope. Hope for a cancer-free world and for better, more targeted ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure individual cancers. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.

The OSUCCC – James has more than 500 open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more cancer clinical trials here than at nearly any other hospital in the region as well as access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and drugs available.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only four U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results.

Additionally, Ohio State has nearly 300 cancer researchers dedicated to understanding what makes each patient’s cancer grow, move, metastasize or reoccur. Because of the OSUCCC – James’ NCI phase I and phase II approvals, these experts can move research discoveries into clinical trials and make them available to patients sooner.


If you have received a soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a soft tissue sarcoma specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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Patient Story

Patient Stories Bill Mason

Bill Mason

Bill Mason thought the lump in his back thigh was just a strained muscle. Finding out instead that it was a rare, soft tissue sarcoma, he found the specialty and expertise he needed to heal at the OSUCCC...

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