Surgeon Edward Athanasian, an expert in treating bone and soft tissue tumors, examines a patient. Surgery is often the primary treatment for bone cancer.
Every person who comes to Memorial Sloan Kettering for bone cancer treatment receives compassionate, personalized care. Your team will include doctors, nurses, and other experts whose sole focus is bone cancer.
Specialists from all areas of bone cancer care — including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and supportive care — work together to treat each patient. The team will design a treatment plan especially for you. Bringing together experts in different areas helps us choose the therapies that will most effectively treat your cancer and give you the best outcome possible. Preserving your quality of life is always one of our main goals.
Our physicians see about 175 patients with primary bone cancer each year. This high number gives them the expertise to recognize and treat rare forms of the disease. It also means they can quickly identify, manage, and avoid treatment complications.
Treatment for primary bone cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other novel therapies. These are used either alone or in combination with each other. The treatment we recommend depends on the type, location, and size of the tumor as well as your age and general health.
We have a long history of treating bone cancer. The first detailed descriptions of both osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma were created by our doctors. In fact, James Ewing, the doctor who first described primary bone cancer, was the original leader of Memorial Hospital and the scientific founder of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Today, our doctors are helping people with bone cancer live longer and better lives through treatments and surgical techniques pioneered at MSK. We have been at the forefront of limb-sparing surgery for patients with high-grade bone sarcomas. We have led studies to create longer-lasting and more functional prostheses, including bone and joint replacements for children that grow as the child grows. And our researchers developed the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which is given before surgery to shrink the size of tumors.
Through our program of clinical trials, our patients may have access to a number of new treatment options. These include targeted therapies, radiation therapies, and surgical techniques.
Our experience extends to people who develop Paget’s disease, fibrous dysplasia, and osteochondromatosis and who have sarcomas in difficult-to-treat locations, such as the pelvis.
Types of Treatment for Bone Cancer
- Surgery for Bone Cancer
Surgery is often the primary treatment for bone cancer. Learn more about what MSK surgeons do to help preserve limbs and maintain functionality.
- Chemotherapy for Bone Cancer
Chemotherapy is often used in combination with other treatments, and may be used before surgery to shrink tumors. Learn about the types of chemotherapy for bone cancer.
- Radiation Therapy for Bone Cancer
Radiation therapy may be used along with or instead of surgery. Here, we explain four types of radiation therapy used to treat bone cancer.