How We Can Help You
A chordoma is a form of bone cancer that can occur anywhere along spine from the base of the skull to the low back. When it occurs at the base of the skull, it is called skull base chordoma. Chordomas are rare and slow-growing.
Stanford is a global referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of chordoma and the world leader for advanced treatment options for chordomas.
WHAT WE OFFER YOU FOR SKULL BASE CHORDOMAS
- Globally-recognized expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of chordomas of the skull base.
- Team-based treatment planning that brings together specialists from skull base neurosurgery, rhinology, neuroradiology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, audiology, and more.
- Advanced treatment options in radiation therapy and minimally-invasive surgery.
- Comprehensive support services like nutritional and emotional support to help you with your specific symptoms and the challenges of this experience.
- An active clinical research program dedicated to broadening options for the diagnosis and treatment of chordomas.
- Assistance from our International Medical Services team to plan your travel and accommodations.
Treatments for Chordoma of the Skull Base
Although chordomas of the skull base are slow-growing. They can be invasive, spread or recur if they cannot be fully removed. Therefore, combination therapy of surgery followed by radiation therapy is generally recommended to prevent recurrence.
Surgery is often performed jointly with an ear, nose and throat surgeon and neurosurgeon. Surgery involves the use of a high-powered microscope to enable the surgeon to dissect the tumor off of delicate structures such as blood vessels or nerves. An endoscopic endonasal surgical technique is typically used to preserve surrounding tissue. Our goal is to achieve a complete or supra total resection of the tumor to maximize the chances of survival.
A computer-guided delivery system is used to deliver highly focused beams of x-ray radiation to the tumor. CyberKnife delivers precise pulses of high-dose radiation that target certain tumors and other abnormal tissues, while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. 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.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. Immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy, which is a treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer.
Combination of the above
In some cases, tumors that grow after radiation may require additional surgery. Sometimes they require multiple surgeries.
Clinical Trials for Chordomas
Clinical trials evaluate new approaches, devices, or medications in the treatment of chordomas. 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.