Chondrosarcomas of the head and neck

World J Surg. Sep-Oct 1992;16(5):1010-5; discussion 1015-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02067021.


Chondrosarcomas of the head and neck are uncommon. Over a 35-year period (1950-1985) at our institution, 557 patients had an established diagnosis of chondrosarcoma. In 28 (5%) of these patients, the tumor was located in the head and neck region. A retrospective analysis was performed in an attempt to accurately define clinical characteristics, management, and outcome in these 28 patients. The patient population consisted of 15 males and 13 females whose ages ranged from 10 to 72 years, with a median of 38 years. Ten (36%) patients were untreated and 18 (64%) previously treated patients were referred for further management. The primary sites were maxilla (11), cervical vertebrae (7), mandible (3), skull (2), sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses (2), frontal sinus (1), nasal septum (1), and orbit (1). Lesions arising in the larynx were excluded from this study. The most common presenting symptom was a painless mass. Surgery was the definitive treatment in all patients. However, adjuvant radiation therapy or chemotherapy was utilized for residual disease in almost half of the cases (13 patients). Follow-up ranged from 5 to 35 years. Twelve (43%) of the 28 patients were known to be alive and free of disease more than 5 years after surgery. The most common cause of death was uncontrollable local disease (88%). However, only 3 of the 10 previously untreated patients developed local recurrence. For all patients, the median interval from time of first recurrence until death was 25 months (range 6 to 70 months). Positive margins in 8 of 12 patients resulted in local recurrence and eventual death.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Chondrosarcoma / mortality
  • Chondrosarcoma / pathology
  • Chondrosarcoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate