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Clinical differences between central and peripheral chondrosarcomas

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Chondrosarcoma is the second most common primary sarcoma of bone: conventional chondrosarcoma accounts for 85% of all cases. Conventional chondrosarcoma may be central or peripheral. Most studies group central and peripheral chondrosarcomas together, although there is growing evidence that their clinical behaviour and prognosis differ. The aims of this study were to analyze any differences in characteristics between central and peripheral chondrosarcomas and to investigate the incidence and role of different syndromes.


Data from two international tertiary referral sarcoma centres between January 1995 and December 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. The study population consisted of 714 patients with surgically treated conventional chondrosarcoma of the pelvis and limbs.


In patients with Ollier’s disease and Mafucci’s syndrome, 12/20 (60%) and 2/5 (60%) of malignancies, respectively, were in the limbs, most frequently in the proximal humerus, proximal tibia, and in the hands and feet. In patients with hereditary multiple exostosis (HME), 20/29 (69.0%) of chondrosarcomas were in the pelvis and scapula, specifically in the ilium in 13/29 (44.8%) and the scapula in 3/29 (10.3%). In central chondrosarcoma, survival of patients with Ollier’s disease and non-syndromic patients was the same (p = 0.805). In peripheral chondrosarcoma, survival among HME patients was similar (p = 0.676) in patients with tumours of the pelvis and limbs.


Both central and peripheral chondrosarcoma have specific characteristics. HME is frequently seen in patients with a peripheral chondrosarcoma, in whom tumours are commonly located in the ilium and scapula. The incidence of Ollier’s disease is uncommon in patients with a central chondrosarcoma. Disease-specific survival is equal in different subtypes after adjustment for histological grade. The local recurrence-free survival is the same for different locations and subtypes after adjustment for surgical margin.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(5):984–990.

Correspondence should be sent to Minna K. Laitinen. E-mail:

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