Orthopedic Oncology

Our Approach to Treatment

Houston Methodist’s Rex Marco, MD, is one of few surgeons worldwide with expertise in treating complex spinal disorders and orthopedic (musculoskeletal) tumors. Marco’s extensive training and unique ability allow him to offer patients treatment options other doctors can’t provide.

A board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Marco has assembled an oncology team, including radiation, medical and surgical oncologists, pathologists and reconstructive surgeons, to care for patients with bone and soft tissue tumors.

Our highly skilled team ensures each patient receives specialized care in an environment rich in collaboration, research and compassion. We diagnose, treat and study cancers using advanced techniques and technology. Our physician-scientists are committed to discovering and advancing treatments and cures for our patients.

Houston Methodist’s Cancer Center doctors and staff forge personal connections with our patients and their families under intense circumstances. We provide the best possible care while working with patients and their families as a team, guiding everyone toward the individualized care, support and resources needed.

Definition
Musculoskeletal oncology focuses on tumors in bones and soft tissue, including muscles and nerves. Malignant primary musculoskeletal system tumors are called sarcomas.

Conditions Treated

Malignant bone tumors

  • Osteosarcoma — the most common primary bone cancer. Starts in bone cells, most often in the arms, legs or pelvis
  • Ewing's sarcoma — named after Dr. James Ewing, these tumors usually develop in the pelvis, chest wall and the long bones of the arms and legs
  • Chondrosarcoma — cancer of cartilage cells, which mostly develops in the pelvis, legs or arms 
  • Chordoma
  • Metastatic bone disease (Carcinoma) — occurs when cancer spreads to bone
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Lymphoma

Benign bone tumors & conditions

  • Chondroblastoma — grows at the ends of long bones close to the joints. Tumors mostly develop at the ends of the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone) or humerus (upper arm bone)
  • Chondromyxoid fibroma — grows out of the cartilage-forming tissue found in bone marrow. Tumors typically develop in the tibia near the knee
  • Extra-abdominal desmoid tumors — aggressively grow and become intertwined in surrounding tissue, frequently recurring after removal. Tumors mostly are found in the shoulders and buttocks
  • Fibrous dysplasia — abnormal fibrous tissue develops in place of normal bone. It mostly occurs in the femur, tibia, ribs, skull, humerus and pelvis
  • Giant cell tumor of bone — grows at the ends of the long bones, mostly at the lower end of the femur or upper end of the tibia close to the knee joint
  • Osteoblastoma — develops in the bones of the spine, legs, hands and feet.
  • Osteoid osteoma —develops in the long bones, including the femur and tibia
  • Paget's disease of bone — interferes with the body's normal process of replacing old bone tissue.  The disease can lead to fragile and misshapen bones. It mostly occurs in the pelvis, skull, spine and legs
  • Periosteal and soft tissue chondromas —tumors made of cartilage. They mostly are found in the small bones of the hands and feet, as well as the humerus and femur
  • Pigmented villonodular synovitis — a condition that causes the synovium (the tissue that lines the joints and tendons) to thicken and overgrow. It usually affects the knee
  • Synovial chondromatosis — the synovium abnormally grows, producing nodules made of cartilage. The nodules may break from the synovium and become loose inside the joint

Soft tissue sarcomas

  • Angiosarcoma — cancer of the blood vessel’s inner lining. The disease mostly occurs in the skin, breast, liver, spleen and deep tissue
  • Fibrosarcoma — begins in tissue that holds bones, muscles and other organs in place
  • Leiomyosarcoma — cancer of smooth muscle cells, which are found in most parts of the body, including the uterus, stomach, intestines, walls of all blood vessels and skin. It mostly is found in the uterus, stomach and small intestine
  • Liposarcoma — cancer of connective tissues that can occur in almost any part of the body. It is mostly found in the thigh and abdominal cavity
  • Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (also known as MFH) — cancer of connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, fat and muscle. It mostly is found in the arms and legs
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor — cancer of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Malignant schwannoma — cancer of the peripheral nervous system

Benign soft tissue masses

  • Lipoma — a fatty lump often found between the skin and underlying muscle layer
  • Hemangioma — a birthmark that looks like a rubber, red nodule of extra blood vessels in the skin. It can occur anywhere on the body, but mostly appears on the face, scalp, chest or back
  • Ganglion — a fluid-filled lump that appears near joints or tendons. It is mostly found on the wrist or hands
  • Neurofibroma — nerve tissue tumorsSchwannoma — tumors of cells that coat nerves
  • Myxoma — a tumor in the muscle

Texas Medical Center
6565 Fannin St. Suite 2600
Smith Tower
Houston, TX 77030 
713.441.9000