Chondrosarcomas revisited

Andreas F. Mavrogenis, Marco Gambaroti, Andrea Angelini, Emanuela Palmerini, Eric L. Staals, Pietro Ruggieri, Panayiotis J. Papagelopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chondrosarcomas are malignant bone tumors with pure hyaline cartilage differentiation; myxoid changes, calcification, or ossification may be present. Several subtypes of chondrosarcomas exist. Behavior patterns vary, ranging from slow-growing nonmetastasizing lesions to aggressive metastasizing sarcomas. Symptoms are usually mild, with duration ranging from several months to years, and usually consist of persistent, dull, aching pain or palpable masses. Radiographic findings include bone expansion with cortical thickening, radiolucent areas with variably distributed punctate or ring-like matrix calcifications, cortical erosion or destruction, endosteal scalloping, and scant or absent periosteal reaction; extension into the soft tissue may be present. Histological differential diagnosis from benign cartilaginous lesions can be achieved by increased cellularity, enlarged plump nuclei, binucleated cells, hyperchromatic nuclear pleomorphism, and permeation of cortical or medullary bone. Atypia is usually mild to moderate; necrosis and mitoses can be seen, particularly in high-grade lesions. Adequate surgery is the mainstay of treatment. High-grade and pelvic chondrosarcomas are best managed with wide resection. Because of the low metastatic potential and low local recurrence rate noted with intralesional surgery, low-grade chondrosarcomas can be treated with curettage (with or without treatment of the defect cavity) with a local adjuvant, such as phenol or cryotherapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy may be considered for mesenchymal and dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas. Radiation therapy can be considered after incomplete resection or if resection is not feasible or would cause unacceptable morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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