Object. Chordomas and chondrosarcomas of the skull base are rare locally invasive tumors associated with high recurrence rates. The aim of this study was to evaluate the concept of microsurgical tumor volume reduction followed by early gamma knife surgery (GKS).
Methods. Thirteen patients with 15 tumors were treated between October 2000 and June 2003. There were three patients (23.1%) with chordomas and 10 (76.9%) with chondrosarcomas. There were nine men and four women who ranged in age between 19 and 69 years. All patients first underwent maximal tumor resection. Within 2 to 10 months after surgery they were treated with GKS. The mean postoperative tumor volume treated with GKS was 9.7 cm3 (range 1.4–20.3 cm3). Follow-up computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging examinations with volumetric tumor analysis were performed every 6 months after GKS.
The mean treatment dose was 17 Gy and the mean isodose was 52%. The mean follow-up duration was 17 months during which there was only one tumor recurrence at the margin of the radiation field. The mean volume reduction was 35.4%.
Conclusions. Results of this treatment strategy are encouraging but the efficacy of this multimodal treatment combining surgery and early GKS requires a longer follow up.