About The Staff

The Center & Our Offices

The Washington Musculoskeletal Tumor Center, Bethesda, MD

Martin M. Malawer, MD, director
Professor (Clinical Scholar), Orthopedic Surgery, Georgetown University


Welcome to The Washington Musculoskeletal Tumor Center at George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC.

We have performed more than 3,000 tumor operations since 1979. We are leaders in limb-sparing surgery and have pioneered many surgical techniques in use at this and other cancer centers.

Our patients come from all over the extended metropolitan area as well as nationally and internationally.

Our Center
For nearly twenty years, our center has been at the forefront of advances in musculoskeletal tumor surgery.

We have extensive experience treating both bone and soft tissue tumors of the extremities, pelvis and shoulder girdle. This has allowed us to develop techniques for the treatment of benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors that help reduce the risk of tumor recurrence while maximizing limbfunction.

We are specialists in the treatment of bone cysts, giant cell tumor of bone, PVNS, osteoid osteoma, chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing's Sarcoma, soft tissue sarcomas as well as metastatic bone tumors.

Limb Sparing Surgery

Two decades ago, the treatment for almost all primary malignancies of the extremities was amputation. Major advances in surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy have revolutionized the treatment of these tumors. Limb-sparing surgery is now safe and effective for most patients.

The goal of limb-sparing surgery is safe and complete removal of musculoskeletal tumors while maximizing limb function.

Our center boasts an incredible array of chemotherapy and radiation therapy resources for patients with malignant tumors. A close, collaborative environment between physicians helps ensure the best possible outcome for patients while minimizing complications.

We specialize in the use of a metallic endoprosthesis to reconstruct bones and joints after the removal of bone tumors. With continuous refinements in surgical technique and prosthetic design, we have now achieved a greater than 90% ten-year survival rate for these prostheses at most anatomic sites and an overall limb salvage rate between 90-95%.

Joint Revision Surgery (non-oncological)
We are also able to use limb-sparing surgical techniques and implants for patients who have undergone joint replacement for arthritis but have suffered complete failure of their original implants.

This can often offer these patients the best hope of regaining mobility and reducing pain.

Others special techniques unique to our center include the use of CRYOSURGERY to freeze tumors inside bones for certain benign and metastatic tumors. This can significantly reduce the chance of tumor recurrence

Our center also pioneered the use of PERINEURAL ANALGESIA for post-operative pain control. This is a method in which a small catheter is inserted alongside the nerve at the time of surgery. We have found that it noticeably reduces pain and need for narcotics after surgery.

We also specialize in the treatment of tumors of the SHOULDER GIRDLE and pioneered the first classification system for resections of shoulder tumors as well as the first "constrained" or "snap-fit" scapular prosthesis.

Specialists at our institution are also able to perform PREOPERATIVE EMBOLIZATION of tumors which can dramatically reduce surgical blood loss for certain types of tumors as well as RADIO-FREQUENCY ABLATION which can eliminate the need for surgery for certain tumors.

Minimally Invasive Biopsy
Many patients with musculoskeletal tumors will undergo a biopsy. In order to perform safe limb-sparing surgery, it is critical to obtain the correct diagnosis of the tumor. An improperly performed biopsy can spread tumor cells and make limb-sparing surgery difficult or even impossible.

At our institution, we specialize in performing "minimally invasive" needle biopsies. Our radiologists and pathologists are highly experienced in the use of computed tomography (CT) guided biopsy and pathological analysis in arriving at accurate diagnoses from even small portions of tumor tissue.


TheWashington Hospital Center, known as the "most experienced hospital" in the area, is the largest hospital in the Washington area. It is highly regarded for its cardiovascular, trauma and its oncologic services, provided through the Washington Cancer Institiute.

Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital is the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer treatment facility in the Washington area and is known nationally and internationally for the strength of this research and clinical programs. It offers both adult oncologic services and pediatric oncologic services, through the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.

By combining the strengths of these two institutions and working closely with specialists in medical oncology, radiology and pathology, we are able to offer a multidisciplinary Lombardi/Washington Cancer Institute Sarcoma Program with the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment methods for benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors.

Many of our pediatric patients are treated In conjunction with the renowned Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC. where advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques are provided in an environment carefully designed for children and adolescents.

We also provide surgical services for musculoskeletal tumors for the Surgery and Pediatric Oncology Branches of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Contact Information

7830 Old Georgetown Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814

martin.malawer at gmail.com    


fax: 301-215-7939

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