SARCOMA Surgery with Perioperative Brachytherapy


What is Sarcoma Surgery with Perioperative Brachytherapy?


Sarcoma is a kind of tumor originating from the so called “soft tissues” (bone, muscle, fat). This tissues are distributed everywhere in the body so this tumor can be located on in the head, trunk, extremities.

The treatment of this tumor is usually surgical resection in combination with either chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.

We developed a program of perioperative brachytherapy which is a form of radiation treatment which treats the tumor from inside out rather than from the outside in. We developed this program in collaboration with our brachytherapy physician Dr Dennis Hill.


How Does it Work?


The tumor is surgically removed. Sometime several organs need to be removed in order to eliminate all visible tumor. Usually these tumors are large and by definition the possibility of invisible residual disease remains critical.


After surgical resection and before wound closure, special brachytherapy catheters are placed in the resection bed. Radioactive seeds will be placed into the catheters later under controlled conditions in the Brachytherapy Department. These seeds will sterilize potential invisible cancer cells that may be left behind.


How is the procedure performed?


This procedure is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia.


Several catheters are placed in the surgical bed at the end of surgery before closing the surgical wound.


On approximately the 3rd day after surgery the brachytherapy treatment will start. Generally the brachytherapy treatment is twice a day for three to five days depending on the tumor and if there was previous external beam irradiation to the area.


The average hospital stay with no complications is about 2 to 15 day depending on the severity of the surgical treatment. If patient is discharged the brachytherapy phase is arranged as an outpatient.


What are the Key Benefits?


If the tumor is completely resected the administration of perioperative brachytherapy is associated to an outcome that is remarkably better than standard surgery with or without chemotherapy.


Other factors associated to a good outcome are type of tumor, preoperative performance status, and uncomplicated postoperative course.


The perioperative administration of brachytherapy allows a local radiation in the resection surgical bed that will penetrate the tissue for several mm reaching any viable microscopic residual tumor cells left behind after surgery.


Since radiation penetrate for several mm, damage to the rest of the body from radiation remains minimal.


The purpose of this treatment is to minimize the local recurrence of these type of tumors..



What are the most common tumors that may benefit from this procedure?


Soft tissue tumors (sarcomas)

Some of these tumors may require more selection


Which patients may benefit?


In order to minimize complications and optimize the outcome, patients are strictly selected.

Patients need to have a good performance status.

Patients should not have distant spread of the disease (stage IV).


What are the Risks?


Like any kind of surgery there is a risk of complications and their severity is proportional to the invasiveness of the surgery. The risks related to brachytherapy are usually minimal.


First Surgical Office Locations

Oakland Office
365 Hawthorne Ave, #101
Oakland, Ca 94609
Ph# 510-465-5523
Fax# 510-832-6061

Berkeley Office
2999 Regent St #700
Berkeley, Ca 94705
Ph# 510-486-0818
Fax# 510-486-0819

Hayward Office
27001 Calaroga Ave, #4
Hayward, Ca 94544
Ph# 510-732-5731
Fax# 510-732-5739

Chinatown Office
388 9th St #218B
Oakland, Ca 94607
Ph# 510-839-0298 
Fax# 510-839-4389

Bariatrics Office (Summit South)
3100 Summit St, #2600
Oakland, Ca 94609
Ph# 510-869-8972
Fax# 510-869-6989

Comprehensive Cancer Center
2001 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Ph# 510-204-1634
Fax# 510-204-5749