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The Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Network is part of the Stanford Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.
Treatment Options for Chondrosarcoma of the Skull Base
Although chondrosarcomas of the skull base are slow-growing they can be invasive and can return if they cannot be fully removed. Therefore, combination therapy of surgery followed by radiation therapy is generally recommended to prevent recurrence.
Surgery – Surgery is often performed jointly with an ear, nose and throat surgeon and skull base neurosurgeon. Surgery involves the use of a 4K endoscopic visualization technology and very fine instruments to enable the surgeon to dissect the tumor off of delicate structures such as blood vessels or nerves. Multiple surgical approaches can be used to reach the tumor. The recommended approach depends on the size and location of the tumor.
Stereotactic Radiation – A computer-guided delivery system is used to deliver highly focused beams of x-ray radiation to the tumor, while minimizing effects to the surrounding tissue. While radiation does not remove the tumor, it can be effective in stopping the growth of a tumor.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy – 3D images help the target the tumor with radiation beams from many different angles and with varying doses to target the tumor and avoid surrounding healthy tissues.
Combination of the above – In some cases, tumors that grow after radiation may later require surgery. In other cases, tumor remnants after surgery can grow and be treated with radiation.
Clinical trials evaluate new approaches, devices, or medications in the treatment of chondrosarcoma. Ask your doctor or clinical trials coordinator about available trials that may be additional options for your care.
To learn more about the clinical trials we offer, contact Maria Coburn at 650-736-9551.
Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
Diagnostic Tests for Chondrosarcoma of the Skull Base
MRI or CT scans can help identify the presences of a tumor, but not the type. Skull base surgeons can typically identify a specific look on an MRI that can indicate chondrosarcoma. Diagnosis is confirmed after a sampling of the tumor cells are evaluated by a pathologist.