Musculoskeletal Tumors and Sarcoma - Pediatrics

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Children with musculoskeletal cancers and their families find expedited diagnosis and rapid treatment that begins in hours or days, not weeks.

Because musculoskeletal cancers can be especially aggressive and fast-growing, our team of specialists and clinicians collaborate efficiently on the best course of treatment for each patient.

If your child has been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal cancer or sarcoma or if you are looking for a second opinion consultation about their treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-4673 Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.


As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in cancer research and treatment.
As part of the pediatric musculoskeletal cancer and sarcoma program, care is provided by a multidisciplinary team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists who work together with pathologists, radiologists, rehabilitation experts and others to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.
To help patients and families adjust during treatment and rehabilitation, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and child life specialists provide psychosocial support.

Highlights of our musculoskeletal cancer and sarcoma program include:

  • Minimally invasive surgery removes tumors while preserving healthy tissue
  • Radiation therapy, including ultra-precise Helical TomoTherapy and Brachytherapy
  • Pioneering drug research and clinical trials
  • Advanced chemotherapy
  • Expandable implants that can “grow” with the patient


What are musculoskeletal cancer and sarcoma?

Cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to divide and multiply uncontrollably.

Musculoskeletal cancer develops in bones, muscles or nerves. Types of musculoskeletal tumors include: osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and soft tissue sarcomas.

Sarcomas develop in the body’s connective tissues and are most common is the muscles, tendons, fat, nerves, cartilage and bones.

What are the symptoms of musculoskeletal cancer?

Signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal cancer include:

  • New lumps anywhere on the body
  • Bone pain (may be worse at night or when the bone is being used)
  • Bone break, even from slight injury

How we treat musculoskeletal cancer and sarcoma

Our musculoskeletal tumor team has pioneered state-of-the-art procedures that target cancer while minimizing side effects.


The most common type of cancer treatment for musculoskeletal cancer and sarcomas is chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is treatment with anti-cancer drugs that are given into a vein, muscle, the cerebrospinal fluid or taken in pill form.

Radiation therapy

In some cases, radiation therapy may be recommended. Radiation therapy uses focused, high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells.

City of Hope is a leader in the use of radiation to treat cancer. Our advanced technologies and experienced staff can plan and deliver precise radiation to the tumor site, while sparing nearby organs and tissue. This results in fewer radiation-associated side effects while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes.


City of Hope surgeons use minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques to diagnose and treat cancer.

We are also one of the few centers in the nation that perform limb-sparing reconstruction using expandable prosthetic implants for children and adolescents.

These prostheses “grow” with patients as they are expanded using noninvasive or minimally invasive techniques. This allows us to accommodate for your child’s continued growth without multiple major surgeries.

Using these devices, we are able to remove bone cancer and save limbs, while at the same time reducing the number of surgeries and improving recovery time.

Bone marrow and stem cell transplantation

City of Hope is one of the world’s largest and most successful bone marrow and stem cell transplant centers. Our Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute is a leader in setting standards for this lifesaving procedure, improving outcomes for patients of all ages.

As part of the pediatric musculoskeletal cancer and sarcoma program, care is provided by a multidisciplinary team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists who work together with pathologists, radiologists, rehabilitation experts and others to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.

Orthopaedic Surgery

Dominic Femino, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Oncology

Pediatric Hematology - Oncology

Judith K. Sato, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Pediatric Hematology - Oncology

The Pediatric Musculoskeletal Cancer and Sarcoma Program Nursing Team includes:

Helen Mormann

Musculoskeletal cancer and sarcoma research and clinical trials

At City of Hope, your child has access to innovative clinical trials, researchers and physicians who are nationally recognized experts in developing novel methods for preventing, detecting and treating soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer.

We are actively developing tomorrow’s treatments today, and our musculoskeletal investigators are collaborating with other scientists in other disciplines to develop promising new treatments. Visit our clinical trials page to learn more.

Living with musculoskeletal tumors and sarcoma

A unique benefit of being treated at City of Hope is that we treat young children, adolescents and young adults, ensuring a continuum of care through the years for this special group of patients. 

Our Center for Cancer Survivorship clinic is specially designed to meet the follow-up needs of childhood cancer survivors, who are evaluated annually by a team of health care professionals with expertise in survivorship issues.

In addition, when you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your loved ones take each step during and after your treatment.

We can help with all of the following concerns, and more:

Learn more about these resources at our Living with Cancer or Supportive Care Medicine sites.

For more information about the supportive care programs we offer, please contact the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at 626-218-2273 (CARE).

Hannah Komai | City of Hope
Hannah, bone cancer survivor

Today, Hannah Komai is cancer-free and her story has come full circle: She's now a registered nurse at City of Hope, where she serves on the very same pediatric floor where she was once a patient.