Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Diagnosis & Treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering

There are more than 70 different subtypes of soft tissue sarcoma, so it is important to be treated at a center that has experience in caring for people with all forms of this rare disease. Memorial Sloan Kettering’s soft tissue sarcoma experts are leaders in providing state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, caring for more than 1,000 individuals with soft tissue sarcomas each year.

People from throughout the country come to Memorial Sloan Kettering for a second opinion or a continuation of treatment.

We have specialists in medical oncology, pathology, surgery, radiation oncology, interventional and diagnostic radiology, and nursing. This multidisciplinary approach is essential to designing individualized treatment plans for our patients.

The key to successful sarcoma treatment is a correct diagnosis, and our pathologists are highly skilled at recognizing variations in soft tissue sarcoma subtypes and thereby determining the optimal treatment. Our researchers have pioneered the molecular and genetic analysis of many sarcoma subtypes and are leading the search for genetic markers that determine the aggressiveness of tumors and their response to treatment.

Each year, our surgical team operates on approximately 600 people with soft tissue sarcoma, in many cases performing procedures in patients who may not be eligible for treatment elsewhere, using techniques that preserve limbs and tissue.

For people who require radiation therapy before or after surgery, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is now the standard of care at Memorial Sloan Kettering. IMRT offers a greater degree of precision than traditional radiotherapy techniques. We also have expertise in sophisticated radiation techniques such as proton beam therapy for treating sarcoma that has spread to the spine or brain.

We are also at the forefront of developing new therapies for soft tissue sarcoma. If you are newly diagnosed, we may well be able to offer you enrollment in a clinical trial for treatment of your specific subtype. If you have already undergone standard treatments and the sarcoma has returned, we may be able to offer you clinical trials testing new therapies, as well as trials testing new combinations of existing therapies.

In addition, clinical trials are being designed to assess the role of vaccines and novel immunotherapeutic approaches for treating soft tissue sarcomas.

Learn more about how we diagnose and treat soft tissue sarcomas.