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Sarcoma Program

Dr. Isakoff with small child high fiveConnecticut Children’s sarcoma program provides comprehensive care to pediatric, adolescent and young adult oncology patients with both soft tissue sarcomas and sarcomas of the bone.

We take an integrated, collaborative approach when treating patients. Our team includes pediatric oncologists, general surgeons, orthopedic oncologists, radiation oncologists, and specialists in pathology and radiology. We also offer a comprehensive fertility and sexual health team and adolescent and young adult cancer program. Our team provides patients exceptional clinical care, access to novel therapies and clinical trials, and family support programs.

Connecticut Children’s pediatric sarcoma program was first developed in 2006 by Michael Isakoff, MD, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist with clinical and research expertise in the care of children, adolescents, and young adults with soft tissue and bone sarcomas. Since the creation of the sarcoma program, Dr. Isakoff has developed collaborations with regional adult cancer centers in order to improve access to sarcoma expertise and allow opportunities for enrollment in clinical trials. He is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Bone Tumor Steering Committee, where he participates in clinical trial development for bone sarcomas. Additionally, he currently serves as the Protocol Committee Chair for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s Sunshine Project, helping to guide the development of early phase clinical trials, many of which are focused on novel therapies for patients with relapsed or refractory sarcomas. Learn more about Dr. Isakoff.

Our multidisciplinary team treats a wide range of tumors, including:

  • Bone tumors
  • Benign soft tissue tumors
  • Soft tissue tumors (soft tissue sarcoma)
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

Our pediatric experts provide exceptional care to children, adolescents and young adults. Some of our services include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedic oncology
  • Clinical trials

Tumors, or neoplasms, are groupings of abnormal cells that cluster together to form a mass or lump. They’re formed when cells divide and grow excessively, and they can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Benign tumors are slow-growing, noncancerous, and do not spread to surrounding tissues. They are often diagnosed following a minor trauma, fracture or history of pain. Treatment options vary depending on the size, type and location of the benign bone tumors, but surgery will generally treat these tumors.

A cancerous tumor (malignant neoplasm) can grow unchecked, invade healthy tissue and metastasize (spread to other parts of the body). If it goes untreated and continues to spread, a malignant neoplasm can interfere with organ function and become life-threatening.

Treatment depends on the type of cancer and how far it has progressed. If the cancer is limited to one area and hasn’t spread, the tumor may be removed through surgery. Other common treatments include chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells throughout the body, and radiation therapy, which kills cancer cells in a specific area of the body. Treatment for malignant tumors also includes extensive family and child support from our team at Connecticut Children’s.

Connecticut Children’s is home to some of the top researchers in the nation. We are currently conducting studies to improve fertility in female patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as evaluating the long-term effects of chemotherapy on the heart.

Connecticut Children’s also partners with three research consortia. These partnerships help us to offer pediatric patients the latest innovations in clinical therapy, while also advancing clinical cancer research that benefits children everywhere.

At Connecticut Children’s, we evaluate, diagnose and treat a wide range of bone and soft tissue tumors. Musculoskeletal tumors are relatively rare and require highly specialized care. Our orthopedic oncology specialist Adam D. Lindsay, MD, partners with general surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, adult medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and plastic surgeons to provide a multidisciplinary, coordinated approach to care for each patient. Dr. Lindsay is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, specializing in orthopedic oncology. Learn more about his research interests here.

Patient Stories

Charlotte’s Story

charlotte today

As a cancer survivor, 11-year-old Charlotte speaks with experience and truly “walks the walk.” And as the inspiration behind a growing fundraising phenomenon known as “PJ Day for the Kids,” the Coventry middle school student has been inspiring people across the state to support children battling cancer and blood disorders at Connecticut Children’s. Read Charlotte’s Story>

Kelly’s Story

Patient Kelly from Grow Photo ShootWith the combination of chemotherapy treatment and recovery from surgery, Kelly spent more than 120 days over the course of a year at Connecticut Children’s. For Kelly and her family, being so close to home made a huge difference. In the six years since finishing treatment, Kelly has paid it forward in many ways. Read Kelly’s Story>

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