Nicola Fabbri, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Nicola Fabbri
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About Me

I am a surgeon with 20 years of experience in caring for children, teenagers, and adults with musculoskeletal cancers. This includes diagnosis and surgery for osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, soft tissue sarcomas, giant-cell tumor, chordoma, adamantinoma, osteofibrous dysplasia, angiosarcoma, and other vascular tumors of the extremities, pelvis, and sacrum. I also have expertise in treating metastatic bone cancer in the same parts of the body. My goal is to provide an individualized approach to each person I care for. I base my care on the diagnosis, location, and extent of a tumor, as well as a person’s age, activity level, and expectations.

I have expertise in a variety of surgical strategies and complex limb-salvage techniques. These include biologic, prosthetic, and hybrid reconstructions, as well as custom-designed implants and the use of 3-D technology. These techniques are aimed at helping people with cancer return to a level of functioning that is normal for them.

I also have a strong interest in nononcologic skeletal and joint reconstruction. I am especially focused on reconstructions associated with massive bone loss and deformities. In particular, I help children and young adults with avascular necrosis due to the treatment of blood cancers.

People with musculoskeletal cancers often require complex care and several different types of treatments. I am part of a multidisciplinary team with experts in other fields. These include pathology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and other surgical specialties. We all share the ultimate goal of providing the best care to each individual patient.

This team approach has substantially improved the prognosis for people with sarcomas and musculoskeletal cancer in general. Effective tumor removal without amputation is now possible for most people. We use an individualized limb-preserving strategy and reconstructive technique. This puts the emphasis on providing patients with the most-functional and most-durable reconstruction.

My research focuses on understanding the biology and natural history of sarcomas. I investigate improving the management of musculoskeletal cancer and optimizing the function and durability of skeletal reconstructions. At MSK, we are working on designing more-effective cooperative strategies of treatment and advanced results of surgical management. This includes both limb-reconstructive surgery and, when necessary, amputations. My current areas of particular interest are 3-D printing technology, custom-made implants, and the use of new porous materials to restore bone and address massive bone loss and complex joint reconstruction.

I am a professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. I am a member of numerous national and international scientific societies related to musculoskeletal oncology and orthopedics, and I serve on several of their governing committees. I am on the advisory panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for bone cancer guidelines.

I have trained and mentored several specialists and leaders in this field from all over the world.

  • Clinical Expertise: Pediatric and Adult Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas; Metastatic Cancer to Bone; Benign Bone Tumors; Pediatric and Adult Complex Limb Preservation for Musculoskeletal Tumors; Pelvic and Sacral Tumors, Hemipelvectomy and Sacrectomy; Periacetabular Tumors Resection and Reconstruction; Spino-Pelvic Reconstruction; Preoperative 3D Planning and Computer Assisted Intra-Operative Navigation for Complex Surgery of the Pelvis and Lower Extremity; Revision Surgery for Failed Lower Limb Reconstruction after Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery; Complex Limb Reconstruction for Massive Bone Loss of Non-Tumor Etiology; Complex Skeletal and Joint Reconstruction; Massive Bone Loss; Avascular Necrosis
  • Languages Spoken: English; French; Italian; Spanish
  • Education: MD, University of Bologna Medical School
  • Residencies: Orthopedic Surgery - Istituto Otopedico Rizzoli
  • Fellowships: Adult Reconstruction - Mayo Clinic; Musculoskeletal Oncology - Mayo Clinic
  • Board Certifications: Orthopaedic Surgery (Italy and Europe)

See My Colleagues



Picci P, Manfrini M, Fabbri N, Gambarotti M, Vanel D (eds). Atlas of Musculoskeletal Tumors and Tumorlike Lesions: The Rizzoli Case Archive. New York: Springer; 2014.

Selected Publications & Book Chapters

Campanacci M, Capanna R, Fabbri N, Bettelli G. Curettage of giant cell tumor of bone. Reconstruction with subchondral grafts and cement. Chir Organi Mov 1990; 75:212-213.

Capanna R, Briccoli A, Biagini R, Casadei R, Fabbri N, Guernelli N, Campanacci M. Sacral resections: experience of the I.O.R. bone tumor center. Chir Organi Mov 1990; 75:114-116.

Bertoni F, Bacchini P, Fabbri N, Mercuri M, Picci P, Ruggieri P, Campanacci M. Osteosarcoma. Low-grade intraosseous-type osteosarcoma, histologically resembling parosteal osteosarcoma, fibrous dysplasia, and desmoplastic fibroma. Cancer 1993; 71:338-345.

Picci P, Rougraff BT, Bacci G, Neff JR, Sangiorgi L, Cazzola A, Baldini N, Ferrari S, Mercuri M, Ruggieri P, Caldora P, Benassi MS, Fabbri N, Monti C, Campanacci M. Prognostic significance of histopathologic response to chemotherapy in nonmetastatic Ewing’s sarcoma of the extremities. J Clin Oncol 1993; 11:1763-1769.

Bacci G, Ferrari S, Bertoni F, Ruggieri P, Picci P, Longhi A, Casadei R, Fabbri N, Forni C, Versari M, Campanacci M. Long-term outcome for patients with nonmetastatic osteosarcoma of the extremity treated at the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli according to the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli/Osteosarcoma-2 Protocol: an updated report. J Clin Oncol 2000; 18:4016-4027.

Fabbri N, Mercuri M, Campanacci M. Resection of ischiopubic tumours (pelvic region 3). Editions Scientifiques et Médicales Elsevier SAS. Surgical Techniques in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 55-470-D-10, 2001, 5 p.

Bacci G, Fabbri N, Balladelli A, Forni C, Palmerini E, Picci P. Treatment and prognosis for synchronous multifocal osteosarcoma in 42 patients. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2006; 88:1071-1075.

Bacci G, Balladelli A, Forni C, Longhi A, Serra M, Fabbri N, Alberghini M, Ferrari S, Benassi MS, Picci P. Ewing’s sarcoma family tumours. Differences in clinicopathological characteristics at presentation between localised and metastatic tumours. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2007; 89:1229-1233.

Bacci G, Ferrari S, Mercuri M, Longhi A, Fabbri N, Galletti S, Forni C, Balladelli A, Serra M, Picci P. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for osteosarcoma of the extremities in patients aged 41-60 years: outcome in 34 cases treated with adriamycin, cisplatinum and ifosfamide between 1984 and 1999. Acta Orthop 2007; 78:377-384.

Bacci G, Balladelli A, Forni C, Ferrari S, Longhi A, Bacchini P, Alberghini M, Fabbri N, Benassi M, Briccoli A, Picci P. Adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy for Ewing sarcoma family tumors in patients aged between 40 and 60: report of 35 cases and comparison of results with 586 younger patients treated with the same protocols in the same years. Cancer 2007; 109:780-786.

Bacci G, Longhi A, Forni C, Fabbri N, Briccoli A, Barbieri E, Mercuri M, Balladelli A, Ferrari S, Picci P. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for radioinduced osteosarcoma of the extremity: The Rizzoli experience in 20 cases. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2007; 67:505-511.

Fabbri N, Rustemi E, Masetti C, Kreshak J, Gambarotti M, Vanel D, Toni A, Mercuri M. Severe osteolysis and soft tissue mass around total hip arthroplasty: description of four cases and review of the literature with respect to clinico-radiographic and pathologic differential diagnosis. Eur J Radiol 2011; 77:43-50.

Ferrari S, Palmerini E, Fabbri N, Staals E, Ferrari C, Alberghini M, Picci P. Osteosarcoma of the pelvis: a monoinstitutional experience in patients younger than 41 years. Tumori 2012;98: 702-708.

Fabbri N, O’Connor MI, Mercuri M, Sim FH: Iliofemoral Arthrodesis and Pseudoarthrosis. In: Master Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery: Oncology and Complex Reconstruction. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012: 13-29.

Fabbri N, Turcotte R: Osteofibrous dysplasia. In: Encyclopédie. Médico-Chirurgicale: Techniques Chirurgicales, Orthopédie-Traumatologie, Paris, 2012.

Turcotte R, Fabbri N: Adamantinoma. In: Encyclopédie. Médico-Chirurgicale: Techniques Chirurgicales, Orthopédie-Traumatologie, Paris, 2012.

Gounder M, Yamada J, Fabbri N. Sarcomas of soft tissue and bone. In: The American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, 3rd ed. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2013.

Fabbri N. CORR Insights®: survival, recurrence, and function after epiphyseal preservation and allograft reconstruction in osteosarcoma of the knee. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2015 May;473(5):1797-801.

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Nicola Fabbri’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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