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SARCOMA

Although relatively rare, sarcomas are devastating cancers that arise in the connective tissues – bone, muscle, tendons, nerves, fat, cartilage and blood vessels – and can occur anywhere in the body.

What is sarcoma?

Sarcomas are rare cancers that can begin anywhere in the body. There are two main types – soft tissue sarcomas affecting mainly adults, and bone sarcomas that are much more common in children and young adults.

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Key Statistics

1% of all cancers

1% of all cancers

Sarcoma accounts for around 1% of all cancers, but up to 20% of cancers in children and up to 10% in young adults

Affects a younger population

Affects a younger population

As sarcoma affects a younger population, it contributes a disproportionately heavy burden on the community over the term of their lives

2 in 5

2 in 5

Two in five patients with sarcoma will go on to die from their disease

1 in 5

1 in 5

One in five sarcoma survivors will go on to develop a second cancer within 10 years

Sarcoma research at Garvan

Garvan’s sarcoma research is diverse. To understand why some people get sarcomas, Professor Thomas created the International Sarcoma Kindred Study (ISKS), the largest study of inherited sarcoma risk ever undertaken globally. Early results have shown how two or more rare genetic mutations can dramatically increase a person’s cancer risk, meaning at-risk people and their families can potentially be identified earlier and receive tailored care. The second wave of this research, the Surveillance in Multi-Organ Cancer prone syndromes (SMOC+) study, is following up people identified as being at increased cancer risk and offering tailored cancer surveillance and risk management. Finally, the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics (MoST) program is a set of clinical trials tailored for people with rare and neglected cancers in general, which will benefit people with sarcomas.

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