Chondrosarcoma of the thorax

Philip A. Rascoe, Scott I. Reznik, W. Roy Smythe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Although a rare entity, chondrosarcoma is the most common malignant tumor of the chest wall. Most patients present with an enlarging, painful anterior chest wall mass arising from the costochondrosternal junction. CT scan with intravenous contrast is the gold standard radiographic study for diagnosis and operative planning. Contrary to previous dictum, resection may be performed in an appropriate surgical candidate based on imaging characteristics or image-guided percutaneous biopsy results; incisional biopsy is rarely required. The keys to successful treatment are early recognition and radical excision with adequate margins, as chondrosarcoma is relatively resistant to radiotherapy and conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. Overall survival is excellent in most surgical series from experienced centers. Complete excision with widely negative microscopic margins at the initial operation is of the utmost importance, as local recurrence portends systemic metastasis and eventual tumor-related mortality. This paper summarizes data from relevant surgical series and thereupon draws conclusions regarding preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative management of thoracic chondrosarcoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number342879
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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