Cancer is complex — there is no routine bone and spine sarcoma, nor is there ever a routine way to treat it.
The OSUCCC — James is a world leader in bone and spine 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 bone, spine and soft tissue sarcomas.
Our treatment team includes internationally recognized bone and spine sarcoma experts and world-renowned subspecialists, including medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematologists, pathologists, sarcoma researchers, genomic experts and more. Working together and across medical disciplines, this super subspecialized team develops individualized, highly targeted treatment plans that specifically target the molecular and biological makeup of your individual cancer.
As one of only a few 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.
Bone and Spine Sarcoma 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 subspecialists 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 for bone and spine sarcoma is specialized by the type of sarcoma you have. Most patients need surgery to remove the sarcoma as well as reconstruction surgery to restore function.
Your OSUCCC – James specialized sarcoma surgeon performs surgery to remove the sarcoma. For Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma patients, chemotherapy is most often given before surgery and can make the tumor smaller and require removal of less bone tissue. Patients also may require chemotherapy after surgery to help prevent potential spread of the tumor. In select cases of Ewing’s sarcoma, patients may receive radiation therapy after surgery if the tumor has not responded well to chemotherapy.
Your sarcoma surgical oncologist may replace the removed tissue and bone to improve your function after surgery. The healthy tissue and bone used for reconstruction may be taken from another area of the patient’s body or the surgeon may use an implant of artificial bone or tissue. Reconstruction options include metal bone replacement or large bone graft (cadaver).
Chemotherapy drugs stop cancer cell growth by either by destroying the cells or 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 sarcoma will return.
Chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle. They may be given over a period of months, although most sarcoma chemotherapy is given within an inpatient environment to get rid of the cancer. When patients receive regional chemotherapy for spine sarcomas, 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 for clinical trials 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 can be used instead of surgery in select cases of Ewing’s sarcoma to achieve local control.
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. This is done prior to surgery to shrink the tumor and to pull it away from other structures such as veins and arteries.
Postoperative radiation therapy is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Some 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 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.
A radioactive drug called samarium targets areas 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 (comes back) after treatment in a different bone.
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.
Patients who have Metastatic Osteosarcoma have the option to be treated with 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.
(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 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 nearly any other hospital in the region as well as access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and drugs available.
Additionally, the OSUCCC – James is one of only a few U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. 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 a bone and 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.
(Source: National Cancer Institute)
Who Should Participate in a Clinical Trial
For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.
The OSUCCC – James is one of only a few institutions funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase I and II clinical trials on NCI–sponsored anticancer drugs.