Diseases & Conditions



Synonyms of Chordoma
  • Clival Chordoma
  • Familial Chordoma
  • Intracranial Chordoma
  • Sacrococcygeal Chordoma
  • Skull Base Chordoma
  • Spinal Chordoma

Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion
    Chordomas are very rare primary bone tumors that can arise at almost any point along the axis of the spine from the base of the skull to the sacrum and coccyx (tailbone). The incidence of chordoma in the general U.S. population is about 8 per 10,000,000 people. They occur somewhat more often in males than females and, for unknown reasons, are rare in African Americans. Under the microscope, chordoma cells appear to be benign, but because of their location, invasive nature, and recurrence rate, the tumors are considered to be malignant. They arise from cellular remnants of the primitive notochord, which is present in the early embryo. In normal mammalian development, the notochord and substances produced by it are involved in forming the tissues that give rise to vertebrae. Normally, the tissues derived from the notochord disappear after the vertebral bodies have begun forming. However, in a small percentage of people, some tissues from the notochord do not disappear. Rarely, these leftover tissues give rise to chordomas.

    About one-third of chordomas are found in the region around the clivus. The clivus is a bone in the base of the skull. It is located in front of the brainstem and behind the back of the throat (nasopharynx). Chordomas occur with equal frequency in the skull base, the vertebrae and the sacrococcygeal area towards the bottom of the spine.

    Symptoms of the presence of chordomas vary with their location and size. Most chordomas occur randomly among the population (sporadic). However, some people develop this tumor as a result of a mutation inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.

    Organizations related to Chordoma
    • American Brain Tumor Association
      2720 River Road
      Des Plaines IL 60018
      Phone #: 847-827-9910
      800 #: 800-886-2282
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.abta.org
    • American Cancer Society, Inc.
      1599 Clifton Road NE
      Atlanta GA 30329
      Phone #: 404-320-3333
      800 #: 800-227-2345
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://www.cancer.org
    • Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, Inc.
      1835 Savoy Drive
      Atlanta GA 30341
      Phone #: 770-458-5554
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.braintumorkids.org
    • Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
      620 Colborne Street
      Ontario None N6B 3R9
      Phone #: 519-642-7755
      800 #: 800-265-5106
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.braintumour.ca
    • Brain Tumour Foundation, United Kingdom
      P.O. Box 123
      Tewkesbury None GL20 7PT
      Phone #: 016-84 -290439
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: N/A
    • Cancer Research UK
      PO Box 123
      London Intl WC2A 3PX
      Phone #: 020--72-42 0200
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://www.imperialcancer.co.uk
    • Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
      P.O. Box 498
      Kensington MD 20895-0498
      Phone #: 301-962-3520
      800 #: 800-366-2223
      e-mail: [email protected]hters,org
      Home page: http://www.candlelighters.org
    • Childhood Cancer Foundation - Candlelighters Canada
      55 Eglinton Avenue East
      Toronto, Ontario Intl M4P 1G8
      Phone #: 416-489-6440
      800 #: 800-363-1062
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.childhoodcancer.ca
    • Children's Brain Tumor Foundation
      274 Madison Avenue
      New York NY 10016
      Phone #: 212-448-9494
      800 #: 866-228-4673
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.cbtf.org
    • Chordoma Support Group
      None None None
      Phone #: N/A
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://groups.msn.com/chordoma
    • Friends of Cancer Research
      2231 Crystal Drive
      Arlington VA 22202
      Phone #: 703-302-1503
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.focr.org
    • Lance Armstrong Foundation
      PO Box 161550
      Austin TX 78716-1150
      Phone #: 512-236-8820
      800 #: 866-235-7205
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://www.livestrong.org
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • National Brain Tumor Society
      124 Watertown Street, Suite 2D
      Watertown MA 02472
      Phone #: 617-924-9997
      800 #: (80-0) -770-8287
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.braintumor.org
    • National Cancer Institute
      6116 Executive Blvd, MSC 8322, Room 3036A
      Bethesda MD 20892-8322
      Phone #: 301-435-3848
      800 #: 800-422-6237
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://www.cancer.gov
    • Pituitary Network Association (PNA)
      P.O. Box 1958
      Thousand Oaks CA 91358
      Phone #: 805-499-9973
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.pituitary.org,
    • Wellness Community
      919 18th Street N.W.
      Washington DC 20006
      Phone #: 202-659-9709
      800 #: 888-793-9355
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org

    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html