Chondrosarcoma of the scapula

Long-term oncologic outcome




Chondrosarcoma is the second most common primary sarcoma of bone. It often develops within flat bones, such as the pelvis, ribs, and scapula. In the current study, the authors reviewed the surgical experience and long-term oncologic outcomes of patients with chondrosarcoma arising in the scapula.


The medical records of 29 consecutive patients with chondrosarcoma of the scapula were reviewed. The patients were treated between 1954 and 1994. All patients had localized disease at the time of presentation. The tumors were classified histologically as Grade 1 (10 patients), Grade 2 (10 patients), Grade 3 (7 patients), dedifferentiated (1 patient), and mesenchymal (1 patient) (using the criteria of Evans et al.). The mean maximal dimension of the tumors was 11 cm. Twenty-five patients underwent limb-sparing surgical resection and 4 patients underwent forequarter amputations. The median follow-up was 13 years (range, 1–35 years).


At last follow-up, 22 patients (76%) were free of disease and 7 patients (24%) had died of their disease. Local recurrence occurred in 4 patients at 7 months, 16 months, 40 months, and 43 months, respectively. The local recurrence-free survival rate was 86% at 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years. Disease-specific survival was 83% at 5 years, 74% at 10 years, and 74% at 20 years. Patients who had low-grade chondrosarcomas had better survival compared with patients who had high-grade chondrosarcomas (P = 0.07).


Patients who had localized chondrosarcoma of the scapula had a favorable long-term outcome, most likely due to the unique anatomic features that improved the likelihood of achieving wide surgical margins with limb-sparing surgery, despite the frequent presentation of locally advanced disease. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.