A retrospective review of 22 cases of chondrosarcoma
arising from the mobile spine.
To evaluate the role of oncologic and surgical staging in correlating management and outcome of chondrosarcoma
involving the spine.
Summary of Background Data.
Approximately 10% of chondrosarcomas arise from the mobile spine, occurring mainly in adults, particularly elderly men. The course of the disease depends on the aggressiveness of the tumor, but also is influenced by the management. Intralesional surgery is followed almost constantly by local recurrence even with adjuvant therapy.
All charts, radiographs, and images were reviewed. The composite information provided by this review allowed for oncologic and surgical staging of the reviewed cases. According to Enneking criteria, the surgical procedures were defined as curettage (piecemeal excision) or en bloc
excision . The margins were submitted to histologic study and reported as intralesional
, marginal, or wide .— As primary management, 10 intralesional curettage
s (follow-up period, 2–119 months; average, 61 months) and 12 en bloc
excisions (follow-up period, 39–207 months; average, 97 months) were performed. A total of 33 procedures were performed, including the management of the recurrences (18 curettages and 15 en bloc
excisions: one for soft tissue recurrence). A clinical and radiographic follow-up period of of 2 to 236 months (average, 81 months; minimal follow-up period for survivors, 30 months; average follow-up period for survivors, 115 months) was available for all the patients.
Three recurrences occurred in 14 patients treated by en bloc
excision at onset or for recurrence, two in cases of histologically proven contaminated or intralesional margins. All but one patient were alive at final follow-up evaluation. Conversely, all the patients treated by one or more curettages (with or without adjuvant radiation therapy) had at least one recurrence, and 8 of 10 of these patients died of the disease. At final follow-up evaluation, nine patients had died of the disease; nine were continuously disease free (but one had died of another unrelated malignancy); and four were symptom free after management for recurrences (one was found alive 155 months after a soft-tissue metastasis en-bloc
Conclusions. En bloc
excision, with wide or marginal histologic margins, is the suggested management for chondrosarcomas of the spine. Early diagnosis and careful surgical staging and planning are necessary for conducting adequate management. However, tumor contamination of the specimen margins, even in a small area, or spreading of the tumor mixoid content can worsen the prognosis.