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Unfortunately, because chordomas are quite rare, the best treatment for these tumors has yet to be determined. The current treatment for chordoma of the clivus often begins with surgery (resection) to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The extent of surgery, or the amount of tumor that may be removed, depends on the location of the tumor and how close it is to critical structures in the brain. Surgery is followed by radiation therapy to destroy any cancer cells that may remain after surgery. Several studies have suggested that proton beam radiation or combined proton/photon radiation may be more effect than conventional photon radiation therapy for treating chordomas of the skull base because proton radiation may allow for a greater dose of radiation to be delivered to the tumor without damaging the surrounding normal tissues. Approximately 60-70% of individuals treated with combined surgery and radiation therapy remained tumor-free for at least five years.
Last updated: 10/24/2011
- Lanzino G, Dumont AS, Lopes MB, Laws ER Jr. Skull base chordomas: overview of disease, management options, and outcome. Neurosurgical Focus. 2001; 10:E12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16734404. Accessed 10/17/2011.
- Erdem E, Angtuaco EC, Van Hemert R, Park JS, Al-Mefty O. Comprehensive review of intracranial chordoma. Radiographics. 2003; 23:995-1009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12853676. Accessed 10/17/2011.
- ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Chordoma. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.