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Orange County Hospital Launches Sarcoma Program

Written by Jeff Meyer on 27 Apr 2015
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Hoag Hospital has just announced the launch of Orange County’s first comprehensive Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program fro those battling the rare and complex form of cancer.

In alliance with Keck Medicine of USC, The Hoag Sarcoma Program is led by Dr. Nader Nassif, a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in orthopedic oncology; Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair and Professor of Clinical Surgery Keck School of Medicine of USC Grace E. Hoag, a board-certified surgical oncologist with specialty in sarcoma; and Executive Medical Director of Hoag Family Cancer Institute Dr. Burton Eisenberg.

Dr. Nassif released a statement, “What drew me to Hoag is the hospital’s forward-thinking vision,” said Nassif, who trained at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and is the only orthopedic oncologist in Orange County. “The hospital continuously strives to provide excellent care to its patients and the Orange County community. Our new Sarcoma Program is an important element of that vision and leadership.”

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 12,000 people will be diagnosed with soft tissue sarcomas in the U.S. in 2014. Two-thirds of these occur in the limbs. Sarcomas are often challenging to diagnose, as symptoms often only appear after the cancer has progressed. To apply a diagnosis, a specialist will perform a physical examination and advanced imaging studies, such as an MRI, a bone scan, and a CT scan of the chest to assess if the cancer has spread. A biopsy is often recommended to make the diagnosis and determine what subtype of sarcoma it is. Conclusively, the mass must be removed surgically. Hoag Hospital’s specialized team of surgeons work closely together, often using radiation therapy and chemotherapy for benefitted use in certain cases.

Hoag Hospital offers an extensive approach to the evaluation and treatment of Sarcoma, through a multidisciplinary tumor board. The Board consists of experts across the spectrum of Sarcoma care, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, rehabilitation specialists and a nurse navigator. These specialist meet regularly to review patient history, imaging and tissue slides, and make collaborative decisions to ensure the best course of medical treatment for each patient based on an individualized basis.

“Our board is more interdisciplinary in nature than usual, with specialized oncologic surgeons from general surgery and orthopedic surgery working very closely together to approach complex problems from different and complementary points of view,” Nassif said. “This comprehensive approach provides patients with the best possible outcome and the most innovative and advanced treatment protocols.”


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