Chondrosarcoma of the head and neck region is a rare disease, representing approximately 0.1% of all head and neck neoplasms. The 5-year survival rate of chondrosarcoma is 70-80%, showing relatively good prognosis; however, it is known to progress slowly and eventually cause multiple metastases. In this study, we reviewed chondrosarcoma cases experienced at Yonsei University Medical College during the last 15 years to investigate its clinical characteristics and treatment outcome. The medical records of 8 patients who were diagnosed with chondrosarcoma of the head and neck region and underwent surgical treatment between December 1990 and December 2002 were retrospectively reviewed. The primary sites were sinus, mastoid, jugular foramen and thyroid cartilage. In all patients, the initial treatment modality was surgery, and postoperative radiation therapy was performed in 4 cases. The pathological findings showed chondrosarcoma in 7 cases and mesenchymal chondrosarcoma in 1 case. The treatment outcome resulted in 3 cases of recurrence, of which 2 cases were treated successfully and the other case expired of disease, indicating a survival rate of 87.5%. In the case that resulted in death, complete excision could not be achieved. Therefore, we concluded that wide excision is a beneficial initial treatment of this rare disease.
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