A chordoma is a rare cancerous (malignant) primary bone tumor that usually occurs along the spine. Chordomas most often occur in the base of the spine (sacrum) or in the base of the skull.

Chordomas form from small remnants of the notochord, a coil of cells in the embryo that develops into the spinal cord.

A chordoma may occur at any age but is most common in adults.

Although slow growing, chordomas are difficult tumors to treat because of their close proximity to the spinal cord.

Chordoma care at Mayo Clinic

March 11, 2017
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  3. Van Gompel JJ, et al. Chordoma and chondrosarcoma. Otolaryngology Clinics of North America. 2015;48:501.
  4. Clarke MJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 24, 2017.