Primary sternal tumors are relatively rare and comprise approximately 15% of all chest wall neoplasms. Chondrosarcomas are most commonly encountered, but other malignant tumors including myeloma, reticulum cell sarcoma, and osteogenic sarcoma may be of sternal origin.
Sternal neoplasms present with progressive swelling and later development of pain in about one third of cases. Examination discloses a fixed, sometimes tender mass which may be fluctuant. Roentgenograms indicate localized bony destruction and encroachment of the anterior mediastinal space.
The natural history of sternal chondrosarcomas is similar to that of chondroplastic lesions elsewhere in the body, growing slowly by direct extension and recurring locally if incompletely removed. They also have the potential to metastasize widely, especially in the higher grade lesions. Principles of treatment depend upon early diagnosis followed by en bloc resection of the tumor bearing area and chest wall reconstruction. Although only a relatively few cases have been reported, a
Larson RE, Lick LC, Maxeiner SR. Technique for Chest Wall Resection of Reconstruction Following Sternal Chondrosarcoma. Arch Surg. 1969;98(5):668-670. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340110160024