Duke Sarcoma Center

Duke Cancer Institute’s Sarcoma Center is staffed by specialists dedicated to treating bone and soft-tissue sarcoma. Each year, more than 900 new adult and pediatric patients are seen at the Duke Cancer Center in Durham and Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center. Overall, Duke sarcoma specialists care for more than 2,000 patients who are either actively being treated or who are sarcoma cancer survivors.

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Duke Sarcoma Center leadership

Overview

As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we offer a level of expertise found only in the top cancer centers across the country. We are also part of the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration, a group of leading U.S. sarcoma centers dedicated to improving the care of sarcoma patients through research and clinical trials. As a result, we offer a level of expertise and sub-specialization that very few centers in the country can offer. Research shows that patients experience better survival and quality of life outcomes when they receive their care at a sub-specialized cancer treatment center, like the Duke Sarcoma Center.

Duke Sarcoma Center Approach to Sarcoma Treatment

oncologists discuss sarcoma during meeting
Radiation oncologist David Kirsch, MD, left, consults with orthopaedic surgeon Brian Brigman, MD, during the weekly sarcoma clinic.

Sarcomas are cancers that occur in muscle, fat, bone, and other supporting tissues in the body. There are more than 100 different subtypes that can affect people of any age, which makes them challenging to diagnose and cure. This work requires a team approach.

Evidence supports that patient outcomes improve when they are treated by a team of sarcoma specialists at a sub-specialized cancer treatment center like the Duke Sarcoma Center.

Duke Sarcoma Center Tumor Board
Brian Brigman, MD, PhD, Director, Duke Sarcoma Center, presents a case at the tumor board, with (pictured at left) Nicole Larrier, MD, and Pam Pennigar, FNP, MSN, and (pictured at right) Associate Director of Clinical Research at the Center, Richard Riedel, MD, and Center Co-leader David Kirsch, MD, PhD. (photo by Brian Strickland)

Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

Duke has been caring for sarcoma patients for decades, but in the past 15 years, our specialized team has become a national leader in this area. The Duke Sarcoma Center is a recognition of this accomplishment and a new beginning of even better care, research, and training at Duke.

Our team includes adult and pediatric medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons, and sub-specialized pathologists. The team meets regularly at a weekly multidisciplinary tumor board to review imaging and pathology. Consensus is built around creating the best treatment plan for each individual patient. As recognized experts in bone and soft-tissue cancer, our team uses sophisticated technologies to diagnose and stage sarcomas. Armed with that knowledge, they recommend the best treatment options to remove the mass while preserving healthy tissue and bone.

The collaborative approach is important because there are more than 50 types of sarcomas. They fall into two main categories: tumors that form in the bones and tumors that occur in soft tissue. These rare and complex tumors can be benign, meaning non-cancerous, or malignant, meaning they spread. Our experts in metastatic bone cancer work closely with patients to slow the spread of cancer, relieve symptoms, and maximize mobility.

Contact information

  • New Patient Appointments: Please call 919-613-5550
  • Nurse Triage: Please call 919-668-6608
  • Urgent After Hours/Weekend Medical Issues: Please call 919-684-8111

Locations

Duke Cancer Center Sarcoma Clinic
20 Duke Medicine Circle, Durham, NC 27710
Clinic Level 00

Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center
2301 Erwin Rd
Durham, NC 27710

More Information

Sarcoma
Bone Metastasis

Sarcoma Research

Recognized Leaders in Sarcoma Research

Oncologists listen to discussion during sarcoma tumor board meeting
Radiation oncologist David Kirsch, MD, left, reviews information during the weekly sarcoma tumor board meeting.

 

Our experts are recognized for their research to better understand sarcoma in children and adults and are actively at work to find a cure. Our monthly research conferences bring together the best minds as we lead the fight against sarcoma in the lab and through clinical trials. Research in the lab is currently investigating new therapies to fight rhabdomyosarcoma and other sarcoma subtypes. The goal aim is to fast-track the design and approval of clinical trials, and eventually have a clinical trial option for every patient.

At the same time, our doctors and researchers believe that we may never fully understand rare cancers like sarcoma if we only study humans. That’s why we also have a team researching how sarcoma behaves in animals.  Sarcoma is relatively common in dogs and easier to study because dogs have a shorter lifespan. In contrast, sarcoma is rare in humans (less than 1 percent of cancers), and disproportionately more lethal. As a result, sarcoma research in humans is often limited.

Researchers with dog who has cancer
Duke oncologist and veterinarian Will Eward, MD, DVM, (right) with N.C. State University veterinary oncologist Steven Suter and canine osteosarcoma patient "Deuce" in 2018.

Support Sarcoma Research
Strike Out for Sarcoma is an annual run/walk event that supports our program’s ongoing research efforts.

Clinical Trials

Our researchers conduct sarcoma-specific clinical trials, including pharmaceutically-sponsored, investigator-initiated, and cooperative group trials.

SEARCH OUR CLINICAL TRIALS 

or contact Deb Shoemaker
Assistant Research Practice Manager
Duke Sarcoma Oncology Clinical Trials
Email: Duke Sarcoma Oncology Clinical Trials
Phone: 919.684.1573

Additional Contacts

Nolan Miller, Administrative Director
Phone: 919.684.1671

Duke Sarcoma Center Leadership

We discover, develop and deliver the future of cancer care . . . now.

Brian Brigman, MD, PhD

Director, Duke Sarcoma Center

Richard Riedel, MD

Associate Director of Clinical Research, Duke Sarcoma Center

David Kirsch, MD, PhD

Co-Leader, Duke Sarcoma Center

Duke Sarcoma Center Specialists

MEDICAL ONCOLOGY

RADIATION ONCOLOGY

ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY