How to Treat Chordoma?

  • December 04, 2023
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How to Treat Chordoma?

What is Chordoma?

Chordoma, a rare cancer originating from fetal notochord remnants, typically emerges in the spine or the base of the skull, with a prevalence in adults. These slow-growing tumors often go unnoticed until reaching a considerable size or causing symptoms. Categorized as a rare malignant bone tumor, chordomas vary in occurrence, with approximately 35% in the sacrum, 35% in the spine-skull junction (clival chordomas), and 30% in the vertebrae of the mobile spine.

Chordomas, known for their recurrence and potential metastasis in 30% to 40% of cases, pose unique treatment challenges. Their slow growth and infiltration into adjacent nervous system tissues necessitate a carefully tailored, comprehensive approach for effective management.

Why is Chordoma Challenging to Treat?

Treating chordoma poses a unique set of challenges. One major obstacle is the location of the tumor. The spine and skull base are complex regions with critical structures such as nerves and blood vessels. The intricate nature of these structures makes surgical removal of chordomas difficult without causing significant damage to surrounding tissues.

Additionally, chordomas are known for their tendency to recur even after initial treatment. The cells of a chordoma can invade nearby tissues and may be resistant to conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This recurrent nature makes the management of chordoma an ongoing and often complex process.