Chondrosarcoma is a malignant cartilage-forming tumor that affects predominently the middle-aged population. There are three histologic grades, but differentiation of Grade I tumors from enchondromas can be difficult. The measurement of polypoidy (augmented chromosomal content per cell) appears to offer a method of segregation of benign from low-grade from high-grade tumors. With the exception of the high-grade spindle elements, current chemotherapy does not appear to affect chondrosarcomas. Retinoic acid, however, by enhancing lysosomal enzyme release, may be a potential efficacious therapeutic agent. Enhanced tumor staging as provided by the computed tomographic (CT) scan has demonstrated the boundaries for wide surgical excisions, most notably internal hemipelvectomies for low- and moderate-grade pelvic chondrosarcomas. Currently, low-grade chondrosarcomas have an overall five-year survival of 65%--85% in contradistinction to 15% for the highest grade chondrosarcomas.
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