The Canadian Sarcoma Group was formed in 1985 by interested surgeons, oncologists and pathologists. In the evaluation of new protocols, standard surgical guidelines have been developed which incorporate the concepts of multimodality therapy, particularly radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Also defined are the procedures performed: biopsy, marginal resection, wide local excision, radical resection and the principles to be considered when doing a diagnostic biopsy and a curative resection, particularly with limb salvage in mind. To optimize local control of the disease, centres treating sarcomas should have access to computed tomography, radionuclide scanning, to radiation and medical oncologists, and members of other surgical specialties. This team approach increases survival by 10% and also provides the best circumstances in which to study adjuvant therapy. Surgical guidelines are also essential in order to compare the results of different clinical trials.