Soft tissue sarcomas are rare tumor types that arise from connective tissue in your body — from bones, fatty tissue, nerve or muscle. There are more than 50 different types of soft tissue sarcomas, and, because each may behave differently and have different prognoses, we treat them differently.
Vast Experience Treating Soft Tissue Sarcomas
At Penn Medicine, we have the expertise and experience to assess all types of soft tissue sarcomas, make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan specific to you. We also have the capacity to schedule an appointment, develop a treatment plan and begin your treatment quickly — usually within a week. Treatment often involves surgery with a combination of radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
We encourage community doctors who suspect their patient has a soft tissue sarcoma to refer their patient to Penn as quickly as possible. We have expert pathologists who can interpret biopsies, which is especially important in defining care for the treatment for these rare tumors. If your doctor refers you to Penn Medicine, we will continue to work closely with them, and you will receive your care locally, if possible.
Because soft tissue sarcomas are so rare, doctors might not initially consider such a tumor in their differential diagnosis. It is not until they attempt to do a partial removal of the tumor that they find something more than what they were expecting and the patient will potentially need to undergo another surgery.
We also have several different clinical trials investigating the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas — some of which are available only at Penn Medicine. These include combination therapies, immunotherapy and radiation therapy trials.
A Team Approach to Soft Tissue Sarcoma Care
We work in conjunction with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, orthopaedic oncologists, plastic surgeons, limb salvage surgeons, pathologists and anesthesiologists to help diagnose and treat soft tissue sarcomas. All of us meet regularly to discuss each individual patient and form a consensus about more difficult cases. In addition, we take the time to present research, discuss new publications and analyze data, so the entire team is always on the forefront of cancer care.
Surgeries to treat soft tissue sarcomas are complex, and we have all the elements necessary to get patients through them safely.
Learn more about soft tissue sarcoma treatment and surgery