Sarcomas & Treatment
Diagnosing Sarcomas: Fast, Thorough and Complete
Every new patient, regardless of condition, is completely reassessed. This includes a review of the original pathologic material and imaging studies. Although the first diagnosis may have been accurate, subtle changes in the type or grade of sarcoma may alter a treatment decision and lead to a better outcome.
The sarcoma team ensures that tests are scheduled, completed and reported back in a timely way. Along with the world-class Cedars-Sinai S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center, patients have access to the latest imaging technology for diagnosing, treating and monitoring tumors of the bone and soft tissue. These include positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and bone scans.
The Finest in Inpatient Care For Sarcoma Patients
If hospitalization is necessary, Sarcoma Program patients have access to the internationally renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Cedars-Sinai is known for its innovations in surgical care. Cedar-Sinai was one of the first centers to perform image-guided surgery to remove benign and malignant tumors of the pelvis and spine with excellent results.
The Program is also home to the nation's most experienced surgeons for the laparoscopic treatment of lung cancer (VATS) and offers the full range of radiation oncology treatments, including intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), respiratory gating and image guided radiation therapy (IGRT).
Sarcoma Program surgeons pioneered approaches to limb preservation. Today, they are working to design new implants with improved functionality. To assist in preventing tumors from returning, the Program's doctors use cytotherapy as an adjunct to surgery.
For patients who require complex surgery, Cedars-Sinai has one of the finest intensive care units in the United States. While in the unit, patients are continually cared for by the sarcoma team and intensivists, who specialize in caring for critically ill patients.
An Award-Winning Program Designed to Heal
Within the medical center is the design award-winning Outpatient Cancer Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. Healing elements -- greenery, fish tanks, art, wall coverings and fabrics to create a more relaxed, home-like atmosphere -- have been incorporated throughout the center. For your convenience, doctors' offices, the support team, laboratory, imaging, chemotherapy and radiation are all in one location.
Within the Outpatient Cancer Center is the Infusion Center, which specializes in providing complex chemotherapy, hydration, multiple antibiotics and blood product administration. Sarcoma patients requiring longer treatments are cared for in private rooms with beds, visitor chairs, telephones, VCR/DVD players, private bathroom and many touches designed to make patients feel relaxed and as comfortable as possible.
With the center open 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, you can schedule therapy lasting up to 24 hours at a time, when it is most convenient for you. Equally important, Infusion Center nurses will assist you by telephone should urgent medical issues arise during non-business hours. This support means fewer trips to the emergency department and often avoids hospitalization. If a visit to the Infusion Center is needed, the staff will speak with your sarcoma doctor so that treatment will be ready upon your arrival, avoiding any delay.
Compassion, Dedication and Caring for the Individual with Sarcoma
The physicians, nurses and staff at the Sarcoma Program are committed to taking care of the whole person, not just the medical aspects of sarcomas. The Program's team of support professionals has cancer expertise in the medical, psychosocial and financial areas. You will meet our certified oncology nursing staff, the sarcoma social worker, pain management specialists, rehabilitation therapists, wound specialists, child-life therapists, pharmacists, dietitians and financial counselors. The Sarcoma Nursing Director is available by phone 24 hours a day to provide support whenever you need it.
Onsite interpreters are available for most languages to ensure that patients who do not speak English can still maintain effective communication with their medical team. After hours, interpreters are available by phone.
Hope for the Future . . . and Today
The Sarcoma Program offers clinical trials for patients seeking new medical and surgical treatments including new drug trials and state-of-the-art targeted agents. The Program also participates in multi-center cooperative sarcoma trials, including the Sarcoma Alliance for Research and Care (SARC) for adult patients and the Children's Oncology Group (COG) for pediatric patients.