Clival chordoma: a single-centre outcome analysis.

Jägersberg, Max; El Rahal, Amir; Dammann, Philipp; Merkler, Doron; Weber, Damien Charles; Schaller, Karl (2017). Clival chordoma: a single-centre outcome analysis. Acta neurochirurgica, 159(10), pp. 1815-1823. Springer 10.1007/s00701-017-3163-7

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BACKGROUND The treatment of clival chordomas remains challenging. Total tumour resection is often impossible without hampering adjacent anatomical structures and causing functional sequelae. On the other hand, chordomas show limited response to non-surgical treatment modalities. Up to now, no well-established interdisciplinary treatment algorithms for clival chordomas exist. In this regard, we analysed the data from all patients that underwent interdisciplinary treatment for clival chordoma in our institution over the last 10 years. METHOD Retrospective report of all patients treated at the authors' institution from 2005 to 2015. RESULTS Thirteen patients underwent 24 surgeries, of which 2 (8%) were gross total resections and 22 (92%) incomplete resections. Neurological deterioration, endocrinological disturbances and other surgical complications were observed in six (25%), three (13%) and nine (38%) cases, respectively. Three surgeries (13%) led to an improvement of the initial preoperative neurological condition. All patients were discussed on the interdisciplinary tumour board and all underwent one type of radiotherapy following initial surgery: proton beam in 11 cases (85%) and photon beam in two (15%) cases. In the course of their recurrent disease, three patients (23%) received systemic therapy (imatinib, pazopanib and nivolumab). One patient received a personalised cellular immunotherapy. One patient (8%) was lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 12 patients, four patients (33%) died in the period of analysis; all deaths were chordoma-related. The 5-year cumulative survival rate was 83% (52-97%, CI 95%), 5-year progression-free survival rate was 53% (26-79%, CI 95%). The eight patients (66%) still alive had favourable outcome (KPS, 90 ± 10.7%). SF36 analysis among the survivors revealed 43 points for the Physical Component Summary (12% above, 38% at and 50% below the general population norm) and 47 points for the Mental Component Summary (25% above, 38% at and 38% below). CONCLUSIONS Our patients show a low rate of gross total resection but an outcome well comparable to other published results. This emphasises the importance of interdispiplinary treatment strategies, with surgery supplying maximal safe resection and avoiding severe neurological deficit, allowing patients to undergo adjusted radiotherapy and other treatment options in a good condition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Radiation Oncology

UniBE Contributor:

Weber, Damien Charles


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Beatrice Scheidegger

Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2018 16:12

Last Modified:

05 Nov 2019 07:13

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Chemotherapy Clival chordoma Maximal safe resection Multimodal treatment Radiosurgery Systemic therapy




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