Sarcoma cancer specialist centres NSW
Criteria for a specialist centre
Sarcomas are cancers that start in the bone or soft tissues. International studies suggest that focussing adult-onset sarcoma treatment to specialist centres contributes to improved patient outcomes.[1-3] The Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association classifies specialist centres as those actively involved with clinical trials and with a tumour-specific multidisciplinary cancer care team available.
Involvement in clinical trials
There is evidence that patients seen at centres which actively participate in clinical trials experience better outcomes, even for patients who do not participate in a trial themselves. Clinical trials are essential for the development and refinement of diagnostic tests and interventions that may lead to improved patient outcomes. They also provide participants with alternative treatment options and access to new treatments before they become more widely available.[4-7]
Multidisciplinary cancer care team
Patients with sarcoma may need one or more types of treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.
The management of adult-onset sarcoma can be very complex, and requires the involvement of a multidisciplinary cancer care team. This team brings together health care professionals from different specialties to discuss a patient’s cancer diagnosis and staging, and their treatment options. It also enhances communication and care co-ordination between the specialists involved in a patient’s care.
Evidence suggests that patients overseen by a multidisciplinary cancer care team experience improved survival and better quality of life.[7,9]
Actions for Health Professionals
Patients with a suspected or confirmed adult-onset sarcoma should be referred to a specialist who is a member of a multidisciplinary cancer care team and practices at one of the specialist centres listed below.
The Australian Sarcoma Group recommends that a sarcoma surgeon should be consulted as soon as sarcoma is suspected, so that any biopsy can be handled correctly.
Even if surgery does not seem likely at the time of referral, involvement of a multidisciplinary cancer care team early in the cancer journey is recommended to ensure optimal assessment, care, and outcomes.
The Canrefer website allows you to find cancer specialists who are MDT members, and has information about cancer services, optimal care pathways, and patient resources.
Smoking cessation support
Evidence suggests that tobacco cessation following cancer diagnosis improves survival. It also reduces treatment-related complications.[10–to12] Health professionals should discuss tobacco use with all patients and provide appropriate cessation support.
Local health district
South Eastern Sydney
Prince of Wales Hospital
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
St Vincent’s Network
St Vincent’s Public and Private Hospital (head and neck sarcoma)
|Northern Sydney||Sydney Adventist Hospital|
- Data sourced from the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association. Available from https://sarcoma.org.au/ (accessed 17/04/2018).
- Bhangu AA, et al. Should soft tissue sarcomas be treated at a specialist centre? Sarcoma, 2004. 8(1):1-6.
- McCullough AL, et al. The impact of a managed clinical network on referral patterns of sarcoma patients in Grampian. Scott Med J, 2014. 59(2):108-13.
- Abarca T, et al. Improved survival for extremity soft tissue sarcoma treated in high-volume facilities. J Surg Oncol, 2018 Apr 6. Epub ahead of print.
- Bleyer A, et al. National survival trends of young adults with sarcoma: lack of progress is associated with lack of clinical trial participation. Cancer, 2005. 103(9):1891-7.
- Clarke M and Loudon K. Effects on patients of their healthcare practitioner’s or institution’s participation in clinical trials: a systematic review. Trials, 2011. 12:16.
- Boaz A, et al. Does the engagement of clinicians and organisations in research improve healthcare performance: a three-stage review. BMJ Open, 2015. 5(12):e009415.
- Ozdemir BA, et al. Research activity and the association with mortality. PLoS One, 2015. 10(2):e0118253.
- Cancer Council Australia Sarcoma Guidelines Working Party. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of adult onset sarcoma. Cancer Council Australia, Sydney. 2014.
- Breakey RW, et al. The surgical management of head and neck sarcoma: the Newcastle experience. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg, 2017. 70(1):78-84.
- Karam-Hage M, et al. Tobacco use and cessation for cancer survivors: an overview for clinicians. CA Cancer J Clin. 2014. 64(4):272-90.
- Warren GW, et al. The biological and clinical effects of smoking by patients with cancer and strategies to implement evidence-based tobacco cessation support. Lancet Oncol. 2014. 15(12):e568-80.
- Florou AN, et al. Clinical significance of smoking cessation in subjects with cancer: a 30-year review. Respir Care. 2014. 59(12):1924-36.