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

The OSUCCC — James is a world leader in soft tissue sarcoma treatment, developing some of the very latest advancements in molecular testing and targeting cancer genes – technology that’s available at only a few cancer centers in the country. In fact, our physician experts actually help write the national clinical guidelines for treating specific cancers. 

Our treatment team includes internationally recognized soft tissue sarcoma experts and world-renowned sub-specialists, including medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematologists, pathologists, sarcoma researchers, genomic experts and more. Working together and across medical disciplines, this super sub-specialized team develops individualized, highly targeted treatment plans that specifically target the molecular and biological makeup of your individual cancer.

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.

Treatment Options

The OSUCCC – James is a leader in offering some of the world’s most advanced, sophisticated treatments for bone and spine sarcoma patients.

Every person’s disease is different, with individually unique genes and molecules driving that disorder. At the OSUCCC – James, our bone and spine sarcoma sub-specialists are world-renowned experts who focus solely on sarcoma disorders and who reach across medical disciplines (medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematologists, pathologists, sarcoma researchers, genomic experts and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

One or more of the following treatment therapies may be recommended:

Surgery

Your OSUCCC – James specialized sarcoma treatment team performs surgery to remove as much of the sarcoma as possible. Chemotherapy given before surgery can make the tumor smaller and require removal of less bone tissue. Patients also may require chemotherapy after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Your sarcoma surgical oncologist may replace the removed tissue and bone with a graft. The healthy tissue and bone used for reconstruction in the graft may be taken from another area of the patient’s body or the surgeon may use an implant of artificial bone or tissue.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs stop cancer cell growth by either destroying the cells or by stopping them from dividing.

When chemotherapy is given before surgery, it can shrink a sarcoma. After surgery, it can lower the risk that the bone or spine sarcoma will return.

Chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, and they may be given over a period of months. When patients receive regional chemotherapy, the drugs are placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

When the drugs enter the bloodstream, they can reach cancer cells throughout the body (called systemic chemotherapy). Combination chemotherapy uses more than one anti-cancer drug.

Chemotherapy treatment usually takes place in an outpatient part of the hospital, at your doctor's office or in your home. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Doing this can also shrink a tumor, making surgery more successful.

Postoperative radiation therapy is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Some spine tumors cannot be removed by surgery, and the patient will have radiation therapy to destroy the tumor. Radiation also is used to treat sarcomas that spread to other parts of the body.

The OSUCCC – James radiation experts are leaders in innovative radiation treatments, and The James is one of the few hospitals in Ohio to offer radiation treatments in the prone position (the patient is lying down).

The OSUCCC – James also offers other leading-edge radiation treatments, including imaging-based radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiosurgery and using a Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator.

Samarium

A radioactive drug called samarium targets areas in the body where bone cells are growing, such as tumor cells. It can help relieve pain from bone cancer and destroy cancerous blood cells in the bone marrow. Samarium may be used to treat osteosarcoma that recurs, or comes back, after treatment in a different bone.

Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Transplant

For Ewing sarcoma patients, stem cell transplants enable them to receive chemotherapy treatment, and then later, replace blood-forming cells that have been destroyed by cancer treatment.

Stem cells, which are immature blood cells, are removed from the blood or bone marrow of either the patient or a donor, and then they are frozen and stored. After chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into and restore the body's blood cells.

If a stem cell transplant is needed, the OSUCCC – James has one of the most active, sophisticated programs in the nation.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapies are drugs that attack cancer cells without destroying healthy surrounding cells. By delivering these drugs in combination with chemotherapy, targeted therapies interrupt certain proteins and receptors to stop cancer cells from growing.

One kind of targeted therapy, called kinase inhibitor therapy, is currently being used in clinical trials to treat osteosarcoma by blocking a specific protein that the cancers cells need to divide. Another kind of targeted therapy, called monoclonal antibody therapy, is being used in clinical trials to treat Ewing sarcoma that returns. 

Sarcoma Biomarker Testing

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Bone and Spine Sarcoma Research and 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 internationally recognized experts at the OSUCCC – James believe the best way to treat patients and manage their disease successfully is to be at the forefront of delivering the latest, most effective treatments available and by working with nationally and internationally renowned experts to develop the newest and best soft tissue sarcoma treatments and programs.

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 of this nation’s leading-edge, targeted treatments and cancer clinical trials here than at most other hospitals in America.

Additionally, 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.

The OSUCCC – James and Ohio State have nearly 300 cancer researcher scientists dedicated to understanding what makes each patient’s cancer grow, spread or reoccur. And because of the OSUCCC – James’ NCI phase I and phase II approvals, these experts can move research discoveries into clinical trials and get them to patients sooner, which can mean improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

If you’ve been diagnosed with bone or spine sarcoma, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a sarcoma specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066

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