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Orthopedic Oncology

Contact: Timothy Damron, MD
David G. Murray Endowed Professor
Division of Orthopedic Oncology Surgery

Phone: 315 464-4472

Orthopedic Oncology in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery was established in July 1994, and was the first such program in Syracuse. The division is involved in the diagnostic, surgical, and multidisciplinary care of patients of all ages with benign and malignant bone and soft tissue tumors of the extremities, pelvis, and shoulder girdle, as well as those patients with simulation of these processes. In addition, patients with metastatic bone disease and proliferative synovial processes are evaluated and treated. Approximately 300 such patients are now seen annually.

Comprehensive Team

A team of physicians with specific focus in musculoskeletal processes brings additional expertise to the diagnosis. Frequent interaction with these members from the Departments of Pathology and Radiology, as well as the Division of Nuclear Medicine, has streamlined the diagnostic process. Patients are seen initially at the Upstate Bone and Joint Center (6620 Fly Road) office. The availability of on-site laboratory, x-ray, CT, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) frequently affords completion of all pre-operative diagnostic testing during the day of the patient's initial evaluation, allowing biopsies to be accomplished expediently.

Close multidisciplinary interaction between the Division of Orthopedic Oncology and the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology service, the Adult Hematology/Oncology service, and the Radiation Oncology Division now allows comprehensive management at University Hospital of all pediatric and adult patients with primary bone and soft tissue sarcomas, multiple myeloma, lymphomas of bone, and metastatic carcinomas to bone.

  • Pediatric patients are frequently enrolled in the current COG (Children's Oncology Group) protocols.
  • Adult patients are treated on protocols open through the Adult Hematology/Oncology service.
  • Specialized training for members of the Division of Radiation Oncology allows for the use of brachytherapy as an additional mode of delivering adjunctive radiotherapy to extremity soft tissue sarcomas.


Ongoing clinical and basic science research from the Division of Orthopedic Oncology alone, and in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic, Harvard, Memorial Sloan Kettering, University of Rochester, and Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah currently focuses on:

  • molecular evaluation and classification of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas
  • reconstructive alternatives following limb-sparing sarcoma surgery
  • surgical options after pathologic femur fractures
  • prediction and treatment of fractures and impending fractures in pathologic bone

Weekly multidisciplinary educational conferences are held for the benefit of faculty, residents, and students.