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Sarcomas

“Because of my young age, they wanted to avoid radiation-induced secondary cancers, and they wanted a radiation that could be highly targeted to avoid my reproductive organs. That’s why they felt strongly about proton therapy.”  - Jane, Sarcoma Survivor

Read Jane's story here.

When is Proton Therapy Appropriate for Treatment of Sarcoma?

Sarcomas are cancers that develop in the body’s connective tissues such as bones, muscles, fat, nerves and cartilage. Sarcomas are extremely rare, making up only 1% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States. Sarcomas are usually divided into bone cancers and soft tissue cancers. 

Sarcoma patients may have a long life expectancy after diagnosis, depending on type and stage of the cancer. Sarcomas can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on location. Treatment options typically include radiation therapy (including protons), surgery, and chemotherapy. Proton therapy is an especially important treatment option if: 

  • the tumor is located close to critical organs
  • the patient is trying to preserve particular functions, such as fertility
  • a patient has had prior radiation
  • the disease is recurrent

Recurring sarcomas may appear in different locations around the body over time. Protons can spare healthy tissue surrounding the tumor and minimize the area exposed to radiation. This is especially important if treatment is required several times over a life expectancy of many years. 

The images above show a comparison plan between proton therapy (top) and conventional radiation (bottom) for leiyomyosarcoma of the left buttock. In this scenario, the reproductive organs are spared from harmful radiation.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Sarcoma Clinic

SCCA Proton Therapy Center partners with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which operates the only Sarcoma Clinic in a seven-state region. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is the leading cancer treatment center in the region and among the top nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report. The team at SCCA has been a leader in sarcoma care for more than 40 years, providing world-class services to thousands of people with sarcomas and related conditions.

Sarcomas That May Be Appropriate for Proton Therapy:

  • Chordoma
  • Leiomyosarcoma 
  • Liposarcoma 
    • Myxoid liposarcoma
    • Well-differentiated liposarcoma
    • Dedifferentiated liposarcoma
    • Pleomorphic liposarcoma
  • Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma
  • Myxofibrosarcoma 
  • Fibrosarcoma 
  • Clear cell sarcoma
  • Angiosarcoma 
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma 
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor 
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma 
  • Synovial sarcoma 
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • Many Childhood Sarcomas

To read a sarcoma survivor story, please click here.

Sarcomas and Gastrointestinal Cancers

“I believe in individualized care and making decisions with my patients as a partnership.”

Related Studies

Long-Term Clinical Safety of High-Dose Proton Radiation Therapy Delivered With Pencil Beam Scanning Technique for Extracranial Chordomas and Chondrosarcomas in Adult Patients: Clinical Evidence of Spinal Cord Tolerance Stieb S, Snider JW, Placidi L, Kliebsch U, Lomax AJ, Schneider RA, Weber DC Read Study
High control rate in patients with chondrosarcoma of the skull base after carbon ion therapy: first report of long-term results Uhl M1, Mattke M, Welzel T, Oelmann J, Habl G, Jensen AD, Ellerbrock M, Haberer T, Herfarth KK, Debus J. Read Study