The management of childhood sarcomas involves a multidisciplinary team of HCPs with expertise in the management of sarcomas.
To make the diagnosis:
- A pathologist to determine the type of sarcoma
- A radiologist to assess the extent of local and distant disease and to help plan the biopsy with the surgeon
The treatment team at a specialist center involves:
- A surgeon:
- Plans biopsy
- Undertakes resection - the most important modality for local tumor control.
- Medical oncologist:
- Consideration of systemic therapy.
- Radiation oncologist:
- Radiation therapy (RT) may be necessary to ensure local control if a sarcoma cannot easily be resected with negative margins.
- RT is sometimes indicated for problems such as metastatic disease to the lungs
If a sarcoma is suspected then the tumor should be imaged first and the patient should be assessed by a surgeon with experience in the management of these tumors. Biopsy must be carefully approached.
Unplanned biopsies or surgical excision can harm patients by contaminating adjacent tissues and spreading tumor. This increases the risk of treatment complications and reduces the chance of cure.
The aim of treatment is to cure/ablate disease with as little damage (morbidity) to the patient as possible.
Radiotherapy is often combined with surgery to make limb salvage possible in situations where it is not possible to take a wide rim (margin) of normal tissue around the tumor easily and amputation or mutilating surgery would otherwise be necessary.