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J Neurosurg. 1979 Mar;50(3):312-9.

Spinal chordomas.


A series of 54 patients with spinal chordomas were treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center between 1949 and 1976. Thirty-six lesions were located in the sacrococcygeal region and 18 involved the vertebral column at a higher level. The male to female ratio was 35:19. Vertebral chordomas generally occurred in a younger age group. Our radiological findings suggest that there is marked soft-tissue extension anterior to the vertebral column at the time of initial diagnosis. Eleven of 18 vertebral chordomas and 10 of 36 sacral chordomas were found to have disseminated metastases during their course. Analysis of the various modes of therapy reveals that the median survival for both groups is approximately 6 years. However, the 5-year survival for the sacrococcygeal group was 66% as opposed to 50% for the vertebral group. Radiation therapy produced significant palliation but objective evidence of tumor regression was difficult to assess. Chemotherapy in a small number of patients did not have any effect on the tumor. With the advent of computerized tomography scanning, further studies should be done to document the response of this tumor to radiation therapy.

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