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Dedifferentiated chordoma: a report of four cases arising 'de novo'.

Dedifferentiated chordoma is a rare and aggressive variant of the conventional tumour in which an area undergoes transformation to a high-grade lesion, typically fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma, and rarely, osteosarcoma or rhabdomyosarcoma. The dedifferentiated component dictates overall survival, with smaller areas of dedifferentiation carrying a more favourable prognosis. Although it is more commonly diagnosed in recurrences and following radiotherapy, there have been a few reports of spontaneous development. We describe four such cases, which were diagnosed de novo following primary excision, and discuss the associated clinical and radiological features.

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