Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Superior Care at the Stanford Sarcoma Program

With specialists dedicated to treating even the most complex cases, the Stanford Sarcoma Program's multidisciplinary team utilizes leading-edge tools and techniques to identify and treat bone cancers such as soft tissue sarcomas, osteosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and chondrosarcoma, as well as such as angiosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors, uposarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, etc...

pediatric program

For information about the pediatric program, see Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Features of the Stanford Sarcoma Program include:

Advanced technologies and treatments include:


Radiation Oncology

The Department of Radiation Oncology at the Stanford Cancer Center specializes in the therapeutic application of ionizing radiation in the management of pediatric and adult patients with bone and soft tissue tumors.  We have offer an array of contemporary treatment approaches for treating these tumors including: 


Retroperitoneal Sarcomas arise from the deepest portions of the abdominal cavity, usually acquiring significant growth before causing specific symptoms. As a result, these tumors are usually detected at a late stage, when they are large and involve major abdominal structures and organs. Surgical removal of these tumors is the cornerstone of therapy, although most commonly challenging. Such tumors are often declared “unresectable” by surgeons in the community or even academic medical centers throughout the country. Sarcoma Surgeons at Stanford have enormous expertise and an established record of successful management of such complex surgical problems. Very commonly these tumors are in fact amenable to surgical resection through a multi-disciplinary and well thought-out surgical plan. Stanford Surgical Oncologists collaborate very closely with Vascular Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, Orthopedic and Urologic Oncologists to accomplish safe and successful removal of these complex and extensive tumors. At the same time, the surgery focuses on preserving or restoring the function of the surrounding blood vessels, nerves, bony structures and intra-abdominal organs, so that the operation has the least impact on the body possible. In addition, Stanford is one of the few academic medical centers nationwide offering Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy (IORT), a technique which allows the accurate and efficient delivery of focused radiotherapy at the tumor resection bed during surgery, as a means of optimizing the long-term beneficial effects of surgery.


Our sarcoma team consists of doctors and nurses who are passionate about caring for people with sarcoma and are experts in the field of orthopaedic surgery, surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology and plastic surgery.  Often sarcomas are located close to important nerves, blood vessels, bones, and joints which makes their surgical removal technically very difficult. In the past most of these patients had to undergo amputation.  However with advances in imaging and treatment techniques most sarcomas can be treated with limb sparing surgery that does not involve amputation.  The orthopaedic tumor surgeons, Dr. David Mohler and Dr. Raffi Avedian, are internationally recognized experts in the field of sarcoma surgery and specialize in taking care of adults and children with all types of bone and soft tissue sarcomas.  The orthopaedic tumor service provides patients, even those with the most difficult to treat sarcomas, multidisciplinary treatment expertise that focuses on completely eradicating the tumor while maintaining as much limb function as possible. The care each of our patients receive is tailored to their individual needs and expectations and is comprised of surgical techniques for limb sparing surgery, radiofrequency ablation, cryosurgery, argon beam tumor ablation, and multimodality treatment that integrates surgery, radiotherapy, plastic surgery and chemotherapy to provide the best possible outcome for our patients.  Stanford is also pioneering noninvasive treatments for soft tissue tumors using magnetic resonance guided high intensity focused ultrasound ablation (MRgHIFU).  This technique uses ultrasound energy to heat and kill cancer cells without having to make surgical incisions or other invasive procedures.  MRgHIFUis in the pre-clinical stage but will be offered to patients in the near future.


A pathologist is a specialized doctor who looks at tissue samples under a microscope to determine whether they are cancerous or not. These are the samples removed during a biopsy. If your doctor suspects a sarcoma, it is important to be sure that a pathologist who is an expert in sarcoma pathology reviews your tissue as well. Since there are not that many expert pathologists in the United States who specialize in sarcoma pathology, you may need to request a specialized pathology review.


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