Long-term outcomes of grade I/II skull base chondrosarcoma: an insight into the role of surgery and upfront radiotherapy

Hirotaka Hasegawa, Kunal Vakharia, Christopher S. Graffeo, Matthew L. Carlson, Bruce E. Pollock, Paul D. Brown, Avital Perry, Jamie J. Van Gompel, Colin L.W. Driscoll, Michael J. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To clarify the need for post-operative radiation treatment in skull base chondrosarcomas (SBCs). Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients with grade I or II SBC. Patients were divided according to post-surgical treatment strategies: (A) planned upfront radiotherapy and (B) watchful waiting. Tumor control and survival were compared between the treatment groups. The median follow-up after resection was 105 months (range, 9–376). Results: Thirty-two patients (Grade 1, n = 16; Grade 2, n = 16) were included. The most frequent location was petroclival (21, 64%). A gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 11 patients (34%). Fourteen (44%) underwent upfront radiotherapy (group A) whereas 18 (56%) were followed with serial MRI alone (group B). The tumor control rate for the entire group was 77% and 69% at 10- and 15-year, respectively. Upfront radiotherapy (P = 0.25), extent of resection (P = 0.11) or tumor grade (P = 0.83) did not affect tumor control. The majority of Group B patients with recurrent tumors (5/7) obtained tumor control with repeat resection (n = 2), salvage radiotherapy (n = 2), or a combination of both (n = 1). The 10-year disease-specific survival was 95% with no difference between the group A and B (P = 0.50). Conclusion: For patients with grade I/II SBC, a reasonable strategy is deferral of radiotherapy after maximum safe resection until tumor progression or recurrence. At that time, most patients can be successfully managed with salvage radiotherapy or surgery. Late recurrences may occur, and life-long follow-up is advisable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Microsurgery
  • Proton beam
  • Radiosurgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Skull base tumor
  • Surgical outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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