Chordoma is a relatively rare, locally aggressive tumor which is known to arise from embryonic remnants of the notochord and to occur exclusively along the spinal axis, with a predilection for the sacrum. Although chordoma typically presents as a single lesion, a few cases of metastasis have been reported and the prognosis of such patients may be poor. Chordomas are slowly growing tumors with insidious onset of symptoms, making early diagnosis difficult. Recent improvements in imaging have provided valuable information for early diagnosis. The optimal treatment for sacral chordoma is en bloc sacral resection with wide surgical margins. Improvement in surgical techniques has widened the opportunities to provide effective treatment. However, the effects of adjuvant treatment options are still both unclear and controversial. Substantial progress has been made in the study of molecular-targeted therapy. The authors review the current surgical and adjuvant treatment modalities, including molecular-targeted therapy, available for management of sacral chordoma.
© 2009 Tianjin Hospital and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.