Pediatric Musculoskeletal Tumor Program

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Pediatric Musculoskeletal Tumor Program

World-Class Treatment for Pediatric Musculoskeletal Tumors

Children’s Health delivers state-of-the-art care to children with benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors, including patients with the most challenging conditions.

We’re proud to be academically affiliated with UT Southwestern. This affiliation gives us access to groundbreaking clinical trials and the ability to offer your child the latest treatments for musculoskeletal tumors.

We also provide expert second opinions to physicians and families for patients. A second opinion is useful because it will give you more guidance on your child’s condition and help you feel more confident in selecting treatment options.

Customized treatments for your child

We tailor treatment to your child’s unique needs. Our treatment approach will depend on things like your child’s age and the size of their tumor. Treatment may include:

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can be used to either shrink a tumor before radiation and surgery, or to destroy cancer cells that remain after radiation and surgery.
  • Radiation therapy: By using very strong energy (most often conventional radiation but sometimes proton radiation) to kill cancer cells, our radiation oncologists can safely and effectively treat musculoskeletal tumors, including those caused by bone cancer and soft tissue sarcoma.
  • Surgery: Almost all osteosarcomas and most Ewing’s sarcoma tumors can be surgically removed. To fully remove the cancer, surgeons take out the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue that may contain cancerous cells. Surgery is often combined with chemotherapy and radiation to try and destroy the cancer for good.
  • Rehabilitation: Sometimes, chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery can affect how your child's arm or leg functions. Our experienced physical and occupational therapists help your child get stronger and overcome these affects. We make sure your child’s recovery is as successful as possible.
  • Clinical trials: We are constantly developing and testing new treatments that could improve on today’s care. We offer clinical trials of treatments that are available at few other hospitals, giving your child access to the most innovative therapies.

Comprehensive care for childhood musculoskeletal cancer

We use a team approach that brings many different specialists together to care for your child. This team includes musculoskeletal oncology surgeons, physical therapists, rehabilitation physicians, primary practice providers, social workers, child life assistants, prosthetists, psychologists and other experts. These experts evaluate your child from every angle and work together to care for all of your child’s needs and to help their treatment and recovery go as smoothly as possible.

Leaders in orthotics and prosthetics for children with musculoskeletal tumors

Some children who have a cancerous bone tumor (but aren’t at risk of losing their arm or leg) will need to see an orthotic specialist. An orthotic specialist is someone who creates braces and splints, which makes it easier for your child to move, play and run around. Our orthotic specialist can match your child with the latest, most innovative options to help them get back to typical childhood activities.

If your child has a cancerous bone tumor and standard treatments aren’t effective, a surgeon may remove the affected limb as a last resort. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often. When it does happen, we can fit your child with a prosthetic limb. We also offer an innovative method that uses magnets to extend the prosthetic limb as the child grows. This spares your child from surgery to extend the limb.

Clinical trials for pediatric musculoskeletal tumors

Our goal is to get rid of your child’s tumor during the first round of treatment. If your child needs therapies that go beyond standard treatment, there are a growing number of innovative therapies available through clinical trials. Through our affiliation with UT Southwestern Medical Center and participating in organizations like the Children’s Oncology Group, we offer patients access to cutting-edge therapies available at only a few hospitals in the U.S.

Pursuing the next generation of breakthroughs

To help children with musculoskeletal tumors lead better lives, we’re constantly coming up with creative solutions to scientific questions that others haven’t asked. For example, our team is investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to help radiologists determine if bone tumors are cancerous or non-cancerous. In addition, we’re using a 3D tumor model that allows us to use AI to better understand these tumors so we can make treatment more effective. We also utilize genetic testing, through our Precision Medicine Program, to identify genetic mutations that can be targeted with medications, providing a more effective treatment with decreased side effects.

Meet the Care Team