Oncology

Musculoskeletal oncology is the orthopaedic subspecialty that deals with benign and malignant, primary and secondary tumours of the musculoskeletal system including bone and muscle. Sarcomas of bone and soft tissue are the most common types of primary tumour. These are collectively very rare, comprising only 1% of all new cancer diagnoses each year in Canada. Because of their rarity, sarcomas must be treated in highly specialized centers.

The University Musculoskeletal Oncology Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital is the largest sarcoma program in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Under the co-direction of Drs. Peter Ferguson and Jay Wunder, the unit is internationally recognized for excellence in clinical care, research and education.

The principal treatment for patients with bone and soft tissue sarcoma is surgery. The oncology unit at Mount Sinai undertakes surgery on over 200 bone and over 300 soft tissue sarcomas each year. In addition, they undertake surgery on patients with benign bone and soft tissue tumours and those with complex metastatic bone disease. Patients also commonly undergo chemotherapy at Mount Sinai Hospital and radiotherapy at Princess Margaret Hospital, which is part of the University Health Network and is adjacent to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Residents training in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Toronto spend 3 months at Mount Sinai Hospital gaining experience in oncology. Orthopaedic trainees from Western University and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine also get experience in oncology in Toronto. Our unit also has one of the largest fellowship programs in the world, training 3 clinical fellows per year. We have trained surgeons from Canada, USA, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, India, China, Thailand, South Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Patients with musculoskeletal oncology conditions may also be treated at Toronto Western Hospital if they have spine tumours or Sunnybrook Hospital if they have complex metastatic bone disease.

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