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Chondroma is a rare, benign tumor that tends to arise at the base of the skull, especially in the area near the pituitary gland. These tumors are generally very slow-growing and may be present for a long time before causing any symptoms.


The malignant (cancerous) form of chondroma is chondrosarcoma. There are several different types of chondrosarcoma, including conventional, clear cell, mesenchymal, and dedifferentiated. Conventional chondrosarcoma are further subdivided into grade I, grade II, and grade III.



Chondromas are usually attached to the dura mater, which is the outermost layer of the meninges (the covering of the brain). Chondrosarcomas are most commonly found in the sphenoid bone—the bony ridge running along the back of the eyes. They are also often found near the clivus, a bony area at the base of the skull.



These tumors are made up of cartilage or cartilage-like cells. Chondromas can grow to a large size, and may occur as a single or as multiple tumors.



Headaches and vision and hearing disturbances are among the most common symptoms of these tumors.



Chondroma and chondrosarcoma are very rare. Chondrosarcoma is more common in older adult males.



Like many tumor types, the exact causes of chondroma and chondrosarcoma are not known.



Surgery might be the only treatment required for chondroma. Standard treatment for chondrosarcoma is surgical removal, which may be followed by radiation therapy.


Learn more about different treatment options for brain tumors on our Treatment page.


Some chondrosarcoma treatments are available through research studies called clinical trials. Click here to access TrialConnect®, the ABTA's clinical trial matching service.