Comprehensive Review of Cranial Chordomas Using National Databases in the USA

M. M. Hulou, C. R. Garcia, S. A. Slone, A. Dugan, F. Lei, B. Huang, T. Pittman, J. L. Villano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Aims: The management of cranial chordomas is controversial. We provide a comprehensive review of the evolving patterns of care of cranial chordomas in the USA. Materials and methods: We analysed the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database between 2004 and 2014 for clinical characteristics and long-term survival, and the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) dataset between 2005 and 2016 for perioperative characteristics and surgical morbidity. Results: In total, 936 patients were identified from the NCDB, 405 patients from SEER and 64 patients from the NSQIP. Most patients were men (56.2, 54.8 and 57.8% in NCDB, SEER and NSQIP, respectively) and White (80.9 and 83.2% in NCDB and SEER, respectively). Surgery was the preferred treatment modality (87.3% in NCDB and 86.2% in SEER). Surgery was carried out alone (41.8% in NCDB and 40.7% in SEER) or in combination with radiation (42.1% in NCDB and 45.4% in SEER). Proton therapy was the most common type of radiation (32.2% in NCDB), particularly after 2011. The median operative time, median hospital length and postoperative morbidity were significantly higher in chordoma patients compared with patients who underwent other skull-base procedures. The 5-year survival rate was 79.8% in NCDB and 76.9% in SEER. There was a trend towards longer survival in patients receiving surgery and radiation, which has been increasingly used since 2004. Patients younger than 60 years had a decreased risk of mortality. Conclusions: Our analysis reflects patterns of care in the USA. The use of surgery and radiation is increasing, with a trend towards longer survival. Surgery is complicated with long operative time, hospital stay and a higher rate of complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e149-e159
JournalClinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Cranial chordoma
  • morbidity
  • outcomes
  • patterns of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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