European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 271, Issue 10, pp 2601–2609 | Cite as

Chondrosarcomas of the head and neck

  • Andrés Coca-Pelaz
  • Juan P. Rodrigo
  • Asterios Triantafyllou
  • Jennifer L. Hunt
  • Juan C. Fernández-Miranda
  • Primož Strojan
  • Remco de Bree
  • Alessandra Rinaldo
  • Robert P. Takes
  • Alfio Ferlito
Review Article


Chondrosarcoma represents approximately 11 % of all primary malignant bone tumors. It is the second most common sarcoma arising in bone after osteosarcoma. Chondrosarcomas of the head and neck are rare and may involve the sinonasal tract, jaws, larynx or skull base. Depending on the anatomical location, the tumor can produce a variety of symptoms. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are the preferred imaging modalities. The histology of conventional chondrosarcoma is relatively straightforward; major challenges are the distinction between grade I chondrosarcomas and chondromas, and the differential diagnosis with chondroblastic osteosarcoma and chondroid chordoma. Surgery alone or followed by adjuvant radiotherapy is the treatment of choice. Radiotherapy alone has also been reported to be effective and can be considered if mutilating radical surgery is the only curative alternative. The 5-year survival for chondrosarcoma reaches 80 %; distant metastases and/or local recurrences significantly worsen prognosis. The present review aims to summarize the current state of information about the biology, diagnosis and management of these rare tumors.


Chondrosarcoma Cartilaginous tumor Head and neck Prognosis Therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés Coca-Pelaz
    • 1
  • Juan P. Rodrigo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Asterios Triantafyllou
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. Hunt
    • 4
  • Juan C. Fernández-Miranda
    • 5
  • Primož Strojan
    • 6
  • Remco de Bree
    • 7
  • Alessandra Rinaldo
    • 8
  • Robert P. Takes
    • 9
  • Alfio Ferlito
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyHospital Universitario Central de AsturiasOviedoSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de AsturiasOviedoSpain
  3. 3.Oral Pathology, School of DentistryUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  4. 4.Department of PathologyUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Department of Radiation OncologyInstitute of OncologyLjubljanaSlovenia
  7. 7.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  8. 8.ENT ClinicUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  9. 9.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryRadboud University Medical CenterNijmegenThe Netherlands

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