Background: Management of chondrosarcoma of the head and neck is largely based on single-institution reports with small numbers accrued over several decades.
Methods: The American College of Surgeons' National Cancer Data Base included 400 cases of chondrosarcoma of the head and neck diagnosed between 1985 and 1995. Chi square analyses of selected contingency tables and Wilcoxon regression analyses of selected survival stratifications were performed.
Results: Histologic types included conventional (80.8%), myxoid (10.5%), and mesenchymal (8.8%). The mesenchymal and myxoid subtypes were rare among white patients (17.1%) and more common among African-American (31.8%) and Hispanic patients (44.9%). Treatment was most commonly surgery alone (59.5%) and surgery with irradiation (21.0%). Disease-specific survival was 87.2% at 5 years and 70.6% at 10 years. Worse 5-year survival was associated with higher grade (67.3%), regional or distant spread (71.0%), and the myxoid (45.0%) or mesenchymal (53.2%) subtypes.
Conclusions: Chondrosarcoma of the head and neck encompasses a variety of lesions that differ substantially by demographic and tumor characteristics. Individual tumors can be classified further according to site of origin, histologic subtype, and tumor grade, which can be used to predict biologic behavior and prognosis.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.