Pediatric Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that typically starts in the ends of growing bones, most often in children and young adults. It is frequently found in the arms and legs, but can be found in any bone. 
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The first symptoms your child may experience could be bone pain, swelling, a broken bone, or fatigue. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. It can be classified as high (most common), intermediate, or low grade (very rare), depending on how the cells look under the microscope. This determines how likely the disorder is to grow and spread to other parts of the body.

Our Approach

M Health Fairview physicians diagnose and treat more patients with sarcomas than any other pediatric center in Minnesota. Our program offers comprehensive treatment under one roof, something unique in the Twin Cities. We can provide your child with a customized treatment plan that addresses his or her specific needs.

In addition to treating patients using conventional approaches such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, our internationally recognized bone and soft tissue cancer team also utilizes innovative surgical and medical treatment options including modular megaprostheses, custom implants, bone transplants, and expandable bone implants, computerized navigated surgery, intra-operative CAT scans, and clinical trials for new drugs or targeted therapeutic agents.

We were the first to develop continuous infusion ifosfamide and paclitaxel for sarcoma and among the few to offer RANKL antibody chemotherapy for giant-cell bone tumors. We also are successful in limb-salvage procedures, resulting in fewer amputations than national averages.

In addition, the University of Minnesota houses the only National Cancer Institute-funded Children’s Oncology Group phase 1 program in Minnesota. This means we offer more clinical trials than any other children’s hospital in the state. New treatments are discovered and applied here first, often becoming national standards of care. Ask your child’s physician about participating in a clinical trial.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures


Chemotherapy is a treatment option for adults or children with cancer using drugs that kill cancer cells. Often simply called “chemo,” chemotherapy is a combination of medications designed to destroy cancer cells, cause remission of your cancer or actually cure the cancer.
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Limb Reconstruction

Limb reconstruction may be recommended after certain surgeries or if you or your child has cancer in a bone. After the tumor is removed, the limb may be reconstructed so it can continue to offer strength and functionality.
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TomoTherapy is a specialized form of radiation delivery that combines radiation therapy with 3D imaging to create more precise targeting of tumors. It works by delivering radiation beams from multiple directions allowing the radiation to match the exact shape of the tumor.
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Pediatric Radiation Oncology

Radiation is an essential part of treatment for many children with cancer and other disorders. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells and treat other non-cancerous conditions.
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Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment with great promise and limited toxicity. Its goal is to harness the power of the patient’s immune system and use it to fight cancer. Sometimes called biological therapy, it's changing the way we think about cancer treatment.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Drug Therapy

Call your preferred location to schedule an appointment or submit an online request.