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definitions - Sarcoma

sarcoma (n.)

1.a usually malignant tumor arising from connective tissue (bone or muscle etc.); one of the four major types of cancer

Sarcoma (n.)

1.(MeSH)A connective tissue neoplasm formed by proliferation of mesodermal cells; it is usually highly malignant.

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Merriam Webster

Sarcoma‖Sar*co"ma (?), n.; pl. L. Sarcomata (# or #), E. sarcomas (#). [NL., from Gr. �, from sa`rx, sa`rkos, flesh.] (Med.) A tumor of fleshy consistence; -- formerly applied to many varieties of tumor, now restricted to a variety of malignant growth made up of cells resembling those of fetal development without any proper intercellular substance.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Sarcoma


-Avian Leukosis-Sarcoma Viruses • Avian Sarcoma • Avian Sarcoma Virus B77 • Avian Sarcoma Virus-Transforming Protein • Avian Sarcoma Viruses • Chicken Sarcoma Virus B77 • Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, Follicular • Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, Interdigitating • Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma • Ewing's sarcoma • Experimental Sarcoma • Feline Sarcoma Proto-Oncogene Protein • Feline Sarcoma Virus, Gardner-Arnstein • Feline Sarcoma Virus, Hardy-Zuckerman • Feline Sarcoma Virus, Snyder-Theilen • Feline Sarcoma Viruses • Fujinami Sarcoma Virus P140 gag-fps • Fujinami sarcoma virus • Granulocytic sarcoma • Harvey Sarcoma Virus • Harvey murine sarcoma virus • Herpesvirus, Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated • Herpesvirus, Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated • Histiocytic Sarcoma • Interdigitating Cell Sarcoma • Kaposi Sarcoma • Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus • Kaposi's Sarcoma • Kaposi's Sarcoma Fibroblast Growth Factor • Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus • Kaposi's sarcoma • Kaposi's sarcoma of lymph nodes • Kaposi's sarcoma of multiple organs • Kaposi's sarcoma of other sites • Kaposi's sarcoma of palate • Kaposi's sarcoma of skin • Kaposi's sarcoma of soft tissue • Kaposi's sarcoma, unspecified • Kirsten Sarcoma Virus • Kirsten murine sarcoma virus • Kupffer cell sarcoma • Langerhans Cell Sarcoma • Lymphatic Sarcoma • Mast cell sarcoma • Mast-Cell Sarcoma • Moloney Sarcoma Virus • Moloney murine sarcoma virus • Mouse Sarcoma Viruses • Myeloid Sarcoma • Myeloid sarcoma • Reticulum Cell-Like Sarcoma, Yoshida • Reticulum cell sarcoma • Reticulum-Cell Sarcoma • Rous Sarcoma Virus-Transforming Protein pp60(v-src) • Rous sarcoma virus • Sarcoma 180 • Sarcoma 180, Crocker • Sarcoma 37 • Sarcoma Virus, Feline, Gardner-Arnstein • Sarcoma Virus, Feline, Hardy-Zuckerman • Sarcoma Virus, Feline, Snyder-Theilen • Sarcoma Virus, Walleye Dermal • Sarcoma Virus, Woolly Monkey • Sarcoma Viruses, Avian • Sarcoma Viruses, Feline • Sarcoma Viruses, Murine • Sarcoma, Alveolar Soft Part • Sarcoma, Avian • Sarcoma, Cerebellar, Circumscribed Arachnoidal • Sarcoma, Clear Cell • Sarcoma, Endometrial Stromal • Sarcoma, Endometrial Stromal, Low-Grade • Sarcoma, Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm • Sarcoma, Epithelioid • Sarcoma, Ewing's • Sarcoma, Experimental • Sarcoma, Germinoblastic • Sarcoma, Granulocytic • Sarcoma, Immunoblastic • Sarcoma, Jensen • Sarcoma, Kaposi • Sarcoma, Lymphatic • Sarcoma, Mast-Cell • Sarcoma, Myeloid • Sarcoma, Neurogenic • Sarcoma, Osteogenic • Sarcoma, Reticulum-Cell • Sarcoma, Small Cell • Sarcoma, Soft Tissue • Sarcoma, Spindle Cell • Sarcoma, Synovial • Sarcoma, Yoshida • Simian Sarcoma Virus Glycoprotein 70 • Simian Sarcoma Virus Proteins • Simian Sarcoma Viruses • Snyder-Theilen feline sarcoma virus • Walleye dermal sarcoma virus • osteogenic sarcoma

-AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma • African cutaneous Kaposi sarcoma • African lymphadenopathic Kaposi sarcoma • Alveolar soft part sarcoma • Avian sarcoma leukosis virus • Classic Kaposi sarcoma • Clear-cell sarcoma • Clear-cell sarcoma of the kidney • Epithelioid sarcoma • Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 • Ewing's sarcoma • Feline sarcoma oncogene • Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma • Granulocytic sarcoma • Histiocytic sarcoma • Immunosuppression-associated Kaposi sarcoma • Interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma • Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus • Kaposi's sarcoma • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus internal ribosome entry site (IRES) • Kaposi's sarcoma–associated herpesvirus • Langerhans cell sarcoma • Mast cell sarcoma • Myeloid sarcoma • Neurogenic sarcoma • Osteogenic sarcoma • Rous sarcoma virus • Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) primer binding site (PBS) • Sarcoma botryoides • Soft tissue sarcoma • Soft tissue sarcoma in cats and dogs • Spindle cell sarcoma • Synovial sarcoma • Synovial sarcoma, X breakpoint • Uterine sarcoma • Vaccine-associated sarcoma

analogical dictionary



Classification and external resources
ICD-O: M8800/3
MeSH D012509

A sarcoma (from the Greek sarx (σάρκα) meaning "flesh") is a cancer that arises from transformed cells of mesenchymal origin. Thus, malignant tumors made of cancerous bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, vascular, or hematopoietic tissues are, by definition, considered sarcomas. This is in contrast to a malignant tumor originating from epithelial cells, which are termed carcinoma. Sarcomas are quite rare. Common malignancies, such as breast, colon, and lung cancer, are almost always carcinoma.



  Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) image of a sarcoma


Sarcomas are given a number of different names based on the type of tissue from which they arise. For example, osteosarcoma arises from bone, chondrosarcoma arises from cartilage, liposarcoma arises from fat, and leiomyosarcoma arises from smooth muscle.


In addition to being named based on the tissue of origin, sarcomas are also assigned a grade (low, intermediate, or high) based on the presence and frequency of certain cellular and subcellular characteristics associated with malignant biological behavior. Low grade sarcomas are usually treated surgically, although sometimes radiation therapy or chemotherapy are used. Intermediate and high grade sarcomas are more frequently treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.[1] Since higher grade tumors are more likely to undergo metastasis (invasion and spread to locoregional and distant sites), they are treated more aggressively. The recognition that many sarcomas are sensitive to chemotherapy has dramatically improved the survival of patients. For example, in the era before chemotherapy, long term survival for patients with localized osteosarcoma was only approximately 20%, but now has risen to 60-70%.[2]


(ICD-O codes are provided where available.)


Surgery is important in the treatment of most sarcomas.[3] Limb sparing surgery, as opposed to amputation, can now be used to save the limbs of patients in at least 90% of extremity tumor cases.[4] Additional treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may be administered before and/or after surgery.[5] Chemotherapy significantly improves the prognosis for many sarcoma patients, especially those with bone sarcomas.[6] Treatment can be a long and arduous process, lasting about a year for many patients, but the process is necessary in order to cure the disease.[7]

  • Liposarcoma treatment consists of surgical resection, with chemotherapy not being used outside of the experimental setting. Adjuvant radiotherapy may also be used after surgical excision for liposarcoma.[8]
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma is treated with surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy.[9] The majority of rhabdomyosarcoma patients have between a 50-85% survival rate.[10]
  • Osteosarcoma is treated with surgical resection of as much of the cancer as possible, often along with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.[11] Radiotherapy is a second alternative although not as successful.


Sarcomas are quite rare with only 15,000 new cases per year in the United States.[12] Sarcomas therefore represent about one percent of the 1.5 million new cancer diagnoses in that country each year.[13]

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common form of sarcoma, with approximately 3,000-3,500 cases per year in the United States.[14]

Sarcomas affect people of all ages. Approximately 50% of bone sarcomas and 20% of soft tissue sarcomas are diagnosed in people under the age of 35.[15] Some sarcomas, such as leiomyosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), are more common in adults than in children. Most high-grade bone sarcomas, including Ewing's sarcoma and osteosarcoma, are much more common in children and young adults.


  1. ^ Buecker, P (2005). "Sarcoma: A Diagnosis of Patience". ESUN 2 (5). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/patience.html. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ Longhi A, Errani C, De Paolis M, Mercuri M, Bacci G (Oct 2006). "Primary bone osteosarcoma in the pediatric age: state of the art". Cancer Treat Rev. 32 (6): 423–36. DOI:10.1016/j.ctrv.2006.05.005. PMID 16860938. 
  3. ^ Morris, C (2005). "Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH)". ESUN 2 (2). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/mfh.html#surgery. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  4. ^ Morris, C (2005). "Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH)". ESUN 2 (2). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/mfh.html#surgery. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  5. ^ Buecker, J (2005). "Sarcoma: A Diagnosis of Patience". ESUN 2 (5). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/patience.html. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  6. ^ Baker, L (2006). "A Rose is a Rose or a Thorn is a Thorn". ESUN 3 (5). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/chemotherapy_rose.html. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  7. ^ Buecker, J (2005). "Sarcoma: A Diagnosis of Patience". ESUN 2 (5). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/patience.html. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  8. ^ http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1102007-treatment
  9. ^ http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1068/mainpageS1068P0.html
  10. ^ Wexler, L (2004). "Rhabdomyosarcoma". ESUN 1 (4). http://sarcomahelp.org/learning_center/rhabdomyosarcoma.html. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  11. ^ http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1256857-treatment
  12. ^ Borden EC, Baker LH, Bell RS, et al. (Jun 2003). "Soft tissue sarcomas of adults: state of the translational science". Clin Cancer Res. 9 (6): 1941–56. PMID 12796356. http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=12796356. 
  13. ^ http://www.cancer.org/docroot/STT/content/STT_1x_Cancer_Facts__Figures_2009.asp?from=fast
  14. ^ Tran T, Davila JA, El-Serag HB (Jan 2005). "The epidemiology of malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumors: an analysis of 1,458 cases from 1992 to 2000". Am J Gastroenterol 100 (1): 162–8. DOI:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.40709.x. PMID 15654796. 
  15. ^ Darling, J (2007). "A Different View of Sarcoma Statistics". ESUN 4 (6). http://sarcomahelp.org/sarcoma_statistics.html. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 

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