Chordoma Research and Clinical Trials

Chordoma Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical trials available

Clinical trials may offer promising alternative treatment approaches for patients with chordomas. Northwestern Medicine physicians conduct some of the most advanced research trials, so ask your care team whether a clinical trial might be right for you.

Tissue banking for advanced research

Our tissue bank helps expand our understanding of nervous system tumors and accelerate the development of therapies to improve patient outcomes. The Biospecimen Core collects specimens of tumors of the central and peripheral nervous systems (including chordomas) with the goal for Northwestern Medicine scientists to produce impactful, clinically relevant studies that benefit our patients. Samples from these tumors are shared with outstanding scientists at Northwestern University and other institutions.

Innovative technology improves outcomes

3D Printing

As surgical techniques continue to improve, tumors previously considered inoperable are now being removed. Frequently, this means more bone in the spine or sacrum is removed.

Reconstructing the spine afterwards is critical to preserving and/or restoring a patient’s functionality. Today’s implants are adequate but not ideal for the complex reconstructions needed after an extensive tumor operation. Our Innovations Lab is working on custom implants for patients using 3D printing; as this technology improves, patients will benefit from implants designed specifically for them that address their mobility needs and enhance the durability of their surgical reconstruction.

Surgical techniques

En bloc resection — when a tumor is removed in one piece — is the method of choice when surgically treating chordomas. Every patient’s tumor is different, and every operation is tailored to a particular tumor. Surgical techniques that decrease the time needed for anesthesia, operating and recovery, as well as blood loss and risk, are continually being refined in the laboratory, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Click here to view links to published research.