A team of specialists in orthopedic surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neurosurgery, and others as needed, treat chordoma using one or more of the following options:
- Surgery. The primary treatment for chordoma is surgery, although it may be difficult to perform because the tumor is near critical structures in the brain and spinal cord. The goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor in one piece, whenever possible, and Mayo surgeons have the expertise and experience to increase the chances of successful surgery.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is used in combination with surgery to help stop tumor growth and recurrence. Radiation oncologists apply high-energy external beam radiation to tissues containing cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used as a supplement before or after surgery or for cases when the tumor cannot be safely removed.
- Chemotherapy. Chordomas are not generally treated with chemotherapy, although chemotherapy is sometimes effective for certain cases in killing rapidly multiplying cells in certain types of tumors.
- Targeted therapy. Targeted therapies are drugs that aim for specific cancer-causing molecules. In unique circumstances, targeted therapies may be used for advanced chordomas.