Chondrosarcoma | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is chondrosarcoma diagnosed?

A physician may order a number of different tests to diagnose a possible chondrosarcoma. In addition to a medical history and physical exam, these may include:

What are the treatment options for chondrosarcoma?

Chondrosarcoma treatment for children may include surgery to form a complete diagnosis of the tumor type and providing information on the stage of the disease. The type of surgery will depend on the size and location of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, these procedures are performed in the hospital's new state-of-the-art pediatric MR-OR. It allows specialists to take an MRI scan immediately following surgery to ensure the tumor is completely removed and decreases the need for additional surgery.

If your child’s leg or arm is affected, your child may receive:

In addition to surgery, your child may receive radiation therapy, which can help stop the growth of abnormal cells in specific areas of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays from a specialized machine to damage or kill abnormal cells. Our doctors use precisely targeted and dosed radiation to kill cancer cells left behind after your child's surgery.

Your child may also receive chemotherapy. These medicines can help stop the growth of abnormal cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, meaning it is introduced to the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to kill or slow the growth of targeted cells. Different groups of chemotherapy drugs work in different ways and can be taken in a variety of ways including orally or intravenously.

What is the long-term outlook for children with chondrosarcoma?

Prognosis for children with chondrosarcoma greatly depends on:

  • the extent of the disease
  • the size and location of the tumor
  • presence or absence of metastasis
  • the tumor's response to therapy
  • the age and overall health of your child
  • your child's tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • new developments in treatment

Every child is unique and treatment and prognosis is structured around your child's needs. Prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are important for the best prognosis.

Survivorship care

Children treated for chondrosarcomas should visit a cancer survivorship clinic every year to:

  • manage disease complications
  • screen for early recurrence of cancer
  • manage late effects of treatment

A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:

  • a physical exam
  • laboratory testing
  • imaging scans

Through our David B. Perini Jr. Quality of Life Clinic, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team. In addition to meeting with your pediatric oncologists, your child may see one of our endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, or alternative/complementary therapy specialists.