Treatments for Osteosarcoma
Treating osteosarcoma depends upon a close collaboration between different specialists at Sheba, including pediatricians, pediatric oncologists, surgical oncologists, orthopedic surgeons, and radiation oncologists. When our team personalizes treatment for your child’s osteosarcoma, we pay attention to the stage, location, and specific type of cancer, as well as how the rest of the body’s organs are functioning.
Treatment options at Sheba for childhood osteosarcoma include:
Surgery is an integral part of treatment for almost all cases of osteosarcoma. It generally includes both a biopsy to diagnose the cancer precisely and the surgical treatment to remove the tumor. There are various types of surgery used for osteosarcoma, and our physicians will decide which type to perform based on the location and size of the tumor. Prior to surgery, we use advanced imaging tests to define the extent of the tumor and plan the surgical procedure in a way that saves as much healthy tissue as possible.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells, and it is administered to almost all patients with osteosarcoma. Most of the time, chemo drugs are given before surgery for a few months (neoadjuvant chemotherapy), and then again for about a year after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy).
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Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to identify and destroy cancer cells without damaging normal healthy cells. Targeted therapies are particularly useful in cases were chemotherapy has not been helpful, and many research studies are now exploring their application as a treatment for primary bone cancers. Certain targeted drugs are being studied as a therapy against osteosarcoma, such as dinutuximab (Unituxin), sorafenib (Nexavar), pazopanib (Votrient), temsirolimus (Torisel), and everolimus (Afinitor).
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Osteosarcomas are not eradicated easily by radiation, so very high doses must be used in order to have an effect. Because of this, the use of conventional radiation therapy for osteosarcoma has been limited. However, we may use newer forms of radiation that target the tumor more precisely, which aims to focus the high doses only at the tumor – thereby saving the nearby healthy tissues.
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Sheba is Dedicated to Holistic Healthcare
As we treat osteosarcoma in children, our supportive medical team cares for your whole child. Promoting a high quality of life is an essential part of our world-class medicine with a personal touch. We understand that coping with cancer is challenging, and therefore we strive to treat every patient with therapies that are as comfortable and efficient as possible. Our holistic healthcare includes a variety of services for your child and family, including social workers, psychologists, nutrition counseling, and physical and occupational therapists for rehabilitation.