Sarcoma

OHSU Knight Cancer doctors visiting with a patient.
OHSU's Dr. Skye Mayo (left) is a cancer surgeon who specializes in sarcomas in the back of the abdomen. He also does research on spotting recurring cancer early. He works with Rachel Schafer (middle), a registered nurse in surgical oncology (cancer surgery).

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute offers the region’s highest level of expertise and technology for treating sarcoma. Our care, tailored to each patient, includes:

  • Team-based care, with a range of cancer, orthopaedic and other specialists working together.
  • Weekly tumor board meetings where specialists combine their expertise case by case.
  • Advanced MRI scanning for bone sarcomas that gives us crucial insights into finding the best treatment.
  • Expert surgical skill to preserve limbs and to give patients the best outcome possible.
  • Leading-edge technology, such as intraoperative (during surgery) radiation therapy and 3-D printing to replace bone removed in surgery.
  • Access to groundbreaking discoveries and clinical trials.
  • A full range of support services for you and your family.

Learn more:

Dr. Christopher Ryan, of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, answering questions for a patient.

Dr. Christopher Ryan is a medical oncologist who specializes in treating sarcomas.

Our expertise

Our sarcoma team is the most experienced in Oregon and among the most experienced on the West Coast.

Training: Our sarcoma doctors are fellowship-trained, with at least a year of additional advanced training.

Surgical skill: We offer you the most advanced surgical techniques, including limb-saving methods. We’re also experts in doing biopsies that require exceptional precision.

Expert diagnosis: We have a deep understanding of the many types of sarcoma. This means we can quickly recommend the most effective diagnostic and treatment options for you.

Team-based care

Our surgeons, oncologists, nurses and others work together to coordinate your care.

Nurse navigator: Our nurse navigator can often arrange multiple appointments on one day for your convenience. Providers and the nurse navigator also coordinate tests and treatments.

Convenient locations: You can receive all your care at our main South Waterfront and Marquam Hill campuses, which are connected by a short ride on the Portland Aerial Tram.

Tumor board meetings: Providers meet each week to go over cases together one by one. They look at scans and test results, then develop treatment recommendations. They take care to consider every option and clinical trial for the best treatment plan possible.

Collaboration: Providers meet face to face to discuss the care of each patient.

Advanced technology

MRI technology: We’re using state-of-the-art MRI technology to gather specific data about each tumor. This includes how it’s responding to treatments and how it might respond to chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

Radiation therapy: We have a wide range of radiation therapy options, include radiation given in one dose during surgery. We carefully choose the radiation therapy that will be most effective for your tumor and condition.

Bone replacement: We offer you every reconstruction option. When bone is removed to treat sarcoma, we can sometimes replace it with bone from another part of the body. Other times, we use advanced joint replacement. We are also among a small number of U.S. centers experienced at replacing bone with custom 3-D printed implants.

Research and innovation

The Knight Cancer Institute is the only cancer center between Seattle and Sacramento with the National Cancer Institute’s highest designation for research excellence. Our work includes:

Sarcoma lab: OHSU’s Davis Lab is dedicated to finding new ways to treat aggressive sarcoma in children, teens and adults.

Clinical trials: We’re testing new medications and ways to diagnose sarcoma. Learn more about our clinical trials.

Survivorship registry: We collect information from sarcoma survivors who volunteer to participate in our Sarcoma Survivorship Registry. Our database is helping us better understand how treatments affect patients.

MRI research: Our advanced MRI technology, in addition to helping us improve patient care, is helping us better understand sarcoma and effective treatment. Our promising work is being funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Early detection: The Knight Cancer Institute is undertaking a major effort to detect cancers earlier, when they’re most curable. The Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center, or CEDAR, is bringing together some of the best minds in the world.

Published work: OHSU researchers have published dozens of peer-reviewed papers on sarcoma findings in medical journals.