Beginning the Chondrosarcoma Journey

Beginning the Chondrosarcoma Journey

Wednesday

What about Radiation and Chemotherapy for Chondrosarcoma?

Radiation and Chemotherapy are not common methods of treatment for Chondrosarcoma. Only rarely are radiation and chemotherapy used on a patient with Chondrosarcoma. The decision to do so, depends on the advanced staging of the tumor and the type. More aggressive forms of Chondrosarcoma are given the designation of Stage III and Stage IV. If it is considered to be an aggressive or advanced chondrosarcoma, chemotherapy or radiation may be considered as part of the treatment plan.
If you are not being treated by a Musculoskeletal Oncologist (Bone Tumor Specialist) question your doctor as to why one is not included in your medical care, Ask why radiation or chemotherapy is being offered and what medical evidence there is for usefulness of such treatment for chondrosarcoma. Ask if you are being offered radiation or chemotherapy as part of a research protocol.
Very rarely, if the Chondrosarcoma is dedifferentiated, then radiation therapy, or chemotherapy to reduce the tumor size may be followed by surgery to remove the cancer.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by mouth in the form of a pill, or it may be put into the body by a needle in a vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drugs enter the bloodstream, travel through the body, and can kill cancer cells throughout the body.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may be given before surgery or following surgery, if the surgeon is unable to remove adequate tissue surrounding the tumor. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external radiation therapy) or from putting materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy)

8 comments:

Nancy D´Cruz said...

Hi, I was first diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma in my sacrum in July. I had 3 rounds of chemotherapy prior to surgery in Oct/Nov (2 as I hemorrhaged badly and the surgery had to be stopped the first time). My surgeon said he had to take out the tumor in two pieces in the end, but all margins were clean. My pathology report said the tumor was greatly fragmented- not sure who to believe or what happened and it was down-graded to conventional condrosarcoma Grade II. Because of the fragmentation in the pathology report, I have just undergone 30 sessions of preventative radiotherapy. Has this been shown to reduce local recurrence rates? I just went along with my oncologist and radiotherapist when they recommended it... just starting to read the literature now... Thanks, Nancy

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Surgery, chemo and radiation are appropriate treatments for Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma.

On the cellular level, Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma is very different from conventional chondrosarcoma.

Mesenchymal CS cannot change into Conventional CS. I have seen no literature on the subject. If this was my situation I would be arranging to have all pathology looked at again by an outside expert sarcoma pathologist.

It is a normal and appropriate thing to do to get second or even third opinion.

Are you familiar with Mimi who runs the online support group for Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma? She knows a great deal about it and can probably help you with finding the best place to send your slides and tumor.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/MesenchymalChondrosarcoma/

Victoria B said...

My 70 year old mother was diagnosed with sarcoma 6 months ago, with one tumor in the left arm and one in sacrum, with a Stage 4 status. She received 16 rounds of radiation. We started going to a "specialist" at Moffitt Cancer Center 3 months and they performed several other rounds of tests. Today the center determined it was chondrosarcoma and they found 4 new lesions (2 in spine, clavical and pubic area).

We are all beside ourselves and don't know what to do. The local oncologist suggests more radiation and possible chemo.

The problem is her left foot has caused her so much pain that she has been unable to sleep for months and I don't know how well she would do with chemo with no rest. We believe the foot is due to a pinched nerve in the back but haven't found a solution yet.
Any help/suggests/thoughts you could provide would be great.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Six months ago your mom was diagnosed with sarcoma? Was it biopsied at that time? What kind of sarcoma was it determined to be at that time? What caused the recent change in diagnosis? What type of Chondrosarcoma is she determined to have at this time? Is it Mesenchymal CS? It is very very unusual to have chondrosarcoma in many spots all over the body in the way that you mention. Is she metastasized? It would be important to know the answers to these questions in order to help understand what is going on. At this point, I would ask if the chemo or radiation is being offered for palliative reasons.

cousinvik said...

The original biopsy was performed in May and after 2 inconclusive results Washington University diagnosed as Sarcoma undetermined specification, best guess was Chordoma Sarcoma and yes, it has metastasized. 3 months later, Moffitt suggested possibly not Chordoma but some other type of sarcoma and rebiopsied with inconclusive results. Two weeks ago a PET Scan was performed and that result was a diagnosis of Chordoma Sarcoma.
At this point, we all understand there is no cure, but would like to create/maintain some quality of life, which is why the treatment suggestion is chemo and/or radiation.

Elizabeth Munroz said...

I think you might find the Chordoma Foundation's Peer Support program useful. I hope you will check them out.

http://www.chordomafoundation.org/peer-support/

Tipsie Gadley said...

I was diagnosed a week ago with chondrosarcoma in my left forearm...I am scheduled to have blood work and a full body CT scan to make sure it hasn't spread anywhere else....then see the oncologist again on April 21st

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Good Luck Tipsie, I hope the results are good news of no spread. Have you considered joining the chondrosarcoma support group on Facebook? It's located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Chondrosarcoma.Support