Is Chemotherapy Associated with Improved Overall Survival in Patients with Dedifferentiated Chondrosarcoma? A SEER Database Analysis

Lee D. Cranmer*, Bonny Chau, Jose G. Mantilla, Elizabeth T. Loggers, Seth M. Pollack, Teresa S. Kim, Edward Y. Kim, Gabrielle M. Kane, Matthew J. Thompson, Jared L. Harwood, Michael J. Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BackgroundDedifferentiated chondrosarcoma is a chondrosarcoma subtype associated with high rates of recurrence and a poor prognosis. Others have proposed treatment of dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma using osteosarcoma protocols, including perioperative chemotherapy. However, the rarity of this condition poses difficulties in undertaking single- institution studies of sufficient sample size.Question/purposeIs perioperative chemotherapy associated with improved overall survival in patients with dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma?MethodsWe queried the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 1973 to 2016 database for patients with a diagnosis of dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma (n = 308). As dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma was only classified as a distinct entity in SEER starting in 2000, only patients treated in 2000 and later were included. We excluded from our analyses those patients with distant disease at diagnosis, a primary site of disease other than bone or joints, and those who did not receive cancer-directed surgery. These criteria yielded 185 dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma patients for inclusion. We used Kaplan-Meier analyses and Cox proportional hazards models to assess the association of clinical, demographic, and treatment characteristics on overall survival (OS).ResultsAfter controlling for confounding variables, including age, sex, tumor size, stage, grade, location, and radiation treatment status, and after adjusting for missing data, no overall survival benefit was associated with receipt of chemotherapy in patients with dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma (hazard ratio 0.75 [95% confidence interval 0.49 to 1.12]; p = 0.16).ConclusionChemotherapy treatment of dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma was not associated with improved OS. These results must be viewed cautiously, given the limited granularity of information on chemotherapy treatment, the concerns regarding chemotherapy misclassification in SEER data, and the small sample of patients with dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma, all of which limit the power to detect a difference. Our findings are nevertheless consistent with those of prior reports in which no benefit of chemotherapy could be detected. Lack of clear benefit from perioperative chemotherapy in dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma argues that it should be used only after careful consideration, and ideally in the context of a clinical trial.Level of EvidenceLevel III, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-758
Number of pages11
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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