Skip to Main Content

Paraspinal Sarcoma Treatment

Sarcomas are tumors in the body’s soft tissues such as muscles, nerves, and fat. Paraspinal sarcoma starts in the area on either side of the spine. This is called the paraspinal region. Paraspinal sarcoma can also involve the space within the vertebra (back bone), known as the spinal canal.

Many kinds of tumors can occur in the paraspinal region. A few examples are:

If paraspinal sarcoma has spread from other parts of the body, there may be many tumors.

Paraspinal sarcoma symptoms

Paraspinal sarcoma may not have symptoms at first. Symptoms can start gradually or suddenly.

When signs and symptoms of paraspinal sarcoma do appear, they may include:

  • A lump or mass near the spine
  • Stomach problems, if the tumor has spread to the abdomen (belly) or digestive tract
  • Pain or numbness anywhere in the body if the tumor presses on nerves
  • Difficulty urinating (peeing) or having bowel movement
  • Loss of control of the bladder or bowel; for example bed wetting

Treatment of paraspinal sarcoma

The treatment goals for paraspinal sarcoma are to cure if possible and to relieve pain and preserve nervous system function. Tumors can press on the spinal cord and other nearby structures.

Treatments may include:

  • Surgery: The surgeon will remove as many cancer cells as possible. Some patients may require surgery right away to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. There may be a concern that pressure could lead to permanent damage. A second surgery to remove more cancer cells may be required after chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy (“chemo”): Uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from spreading.
    • Chemotherapy may be used to shrink tumors before surgery.
    • Chemotherapy can be useful in treating paraspinal sarcoma that has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Radiation therapy: Uses high-energy x-rays and other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.
    • Radiation therapy is more targeted than chemo. It does not usually affect parts of the body outside the area of radiation.
    • This treatment may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor or in emergency situations. It may be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Other treatment types are in various stages of clinical trials.

Paraspinal sarcoma prognosis

The survival rate for paraspinal sarcoma depends on several factors. These include:

  • The type of cancer that is causing the tumor
  • Stage of the cancer: Stage is how advanced the cancer is. The higher the stage, the more the tumor has grown and spread.

Your care team is the best source of information about your child’s prognosis.

Paraspinal sarcoma clinical trials

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital offers clinical trials and cancer research studies for children, teens, and young adults with paraspinal sarcoma.

Learn more about clinical research at St. Jude.

Open clinical trials

There are no open clinical trials at this time.

Browse open clinical trials

Paraspinal sarcoma care at St. Jude

St. Jude provides the highest quality of care for patients with paraspinal sarcoma:

  • Your child will have access to an expert team of specialists that includes:
    • Surgeons, doctors, and nurses who treat this cancer
    • Doctors who specialize in radiation therapy, and in diagnosis (pathologists)
    • Experts in diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine
    • Rehabilitation specialists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists)
    • Child life specialists
    • Psychologists
    • Experts who help manage long-term side effects of treatment
    • Researchers and scientists
  • The medical team works closely with researchers to bring new treatments from the lab to the clinic.

More reasons to choose St. Jude for care include:

  • We are consistently ranked among the best childhood cancer centers in the nation by US News & World Report. 
  • At St. Jude, we have created an environment where children can be children and families can be together.  
  • We lead more clinical trials for childhood cancer than any other hospital in the U.S.  
  • St. Jude is the only National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Center just for children. A Comprehensive Cancer Center meets rigorous standards for research that develops new and better approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. 
  • The nurse-to-patient ratio at St. Jude is about 1:3 in hematology and oncology and 1:1 in the Intensive Care Unit. 
  • Patients may be able to get expert, compassionate care and treatment closer to their homes through the St. Jude Affiliate Program. 
A statue of children running and holding hands

Seeking treatment at St. Jude

Patients accepted to St. Jude must have a disease we treat and must be referred by a physician or other qualified medical professional. We accept most patients based on their ability to enroll in an open clinical trial.

How to seek treatment

Contact the Physician / Patient Referral Office

Call: 1-888-226-4343 (toll-free) or 901-595-4055 (local)  | Fax: 901-595-4011 | Email: | 24-hour pager: 1-800-349-4334

The solid tumor coordinator is dedicated to helping you seek treatment or refer a patient.

Solid Tumor Coordinator


Learn more