Sarcoma Radiation Oncology Therapy

At UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, you have access to the largest variety of advanced radiation planning and delivery systems in western Pennsylvania.

These newer delivery systems provide a precise targeted dose of radiation to spare more healthy tissue near the sarcoma.

Sarcoma Radiation Therapy at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Sarcoma radiation therapies we offer include:

High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy for Sarcoma

In most cases, cancer doctors treat sarcomas with surgery. But, cancer cells often left after surgeons remove the tumor can form new tumors.

For this reason, your doctor may use high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy at the surgical site to prevent tumor recurrence.

He or she may also use external radiation if necessary.

What can I expect during HDR brachytherapy?

During surgery to remove your tumor, your radiation oncologist:

  • Implants a thin, plastic tube (a catheter) where the tumor used to be before your surgeon removed it. The end of the tube protrudes from the skin.
  • Bandages the area around the tube.
  • Treats the area with antibacterial substances to avoid infection.

Once your body has healed from surgery, we take images with CT or radiography. We use the scans to design your sarcoma treatment plan.

For most people with sarcoma, their HDR brachytherapy treatment session is twice a day for eight to 10 days.

At your treatment session :

  • The radiation oncologist attaches the end of the tube to the treatment machine, called a remote afterloader.
  • The afterloader sends the radioactive treatment source to the end of the tube, where it treats the cancer.
  • Once treatment is complete, a surgeon removes the tube so you can finish healing.

What are the benefits of HDR brachytherapy for sarcoma?

Since sarcomas often form in muscles and bone, HDR brachytherapy:

  • Reduces injury to healthy tissue. This can greatly speed recovery and aid quality of life.
  • Allows for a higher dose of radiation than other methods, which can make treatment more effective.
  • Can also treat areas where surgeons removed melanoma.

Who provides HDR brachytherapy at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center?

We provide this therapy at many UPMC Hillman Cancer Center radiation oncology network locations.

Contact Us About Sarcoma Care

To learn more about sarcoma care or to make an appointment, you can: