Not all benign tumors are harmless. Located on the clivus (right between the front of the brainstem and the bottom-front of the skull) it will grow and destroy the cranial nerves one at a time over many years. The tumor is usually unresectable because its location makes it surgically unreachable. Its origin is from the primitive cells of the notochord, with which it is almost identical microscopically. The hazy blue in the picture is mesenchymal mucin.

Some characteristics of chordomas: Usually occur in patients that are greater than 30 years old. 60 percent affect men. Over 50 percent occur in the sacral-coccygeal region. About 30 percent occur in the spheno-occipital region. About 5 percent are primary malignant bone tumors. If the tumor is not completely irradicated, it is likely to reoccur.


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