chapter  55
Chordoma and related lesions, chondrosarcoma and osteosarcoma of the cranium
ByAndrew E. Rosenberg
Pages 22

The skull is the most complicated and intricate portion of the axial skeleton. Its complex form reflects its functional demands, which includes housing, supporting, and protecting the brain and sensory structures, and processing food. The human skull has evolved as a mosaic of many bones, which can be divided into those that comprise the face and those that form the cranium. The cranium can be further segregated into the skull base and the cranial vault. Tumors of the cranium often fall under the purview of the neuropathologist, and of these, the most important and most common are chordomas and related lesions, conventional chondrosarcomas, and osteosarcomas. The importance of their accurate identification is related to their significantly different prognoses and the specific forms of combined therapy that are required for successful treatment. Accordingly, this group of tumors forms the focus of this chapter, which emphasizes their distinguishing clinicopathologic features.