Current Concepts in the Treatment of Giant Cell Tumors of Bone

Shinji Tsukamoto, Andreas F Mavrogenis, Akira Kido, Costantino Errani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The 2020 World Health Organization classification defined giant cell tumors of bone (GCTBs) as intermediate malignant tumors. Since the mutated H3F3A was found to be a specific marker for GCTB, it has become very useful in diagnosing GCTB. Curettage is the most common treatment for GCTBs. Preoperative administration of denosumab makes curettage difficult and increases the risk of local recurrence. Curettage is recommended to achieve good functional outcomes, even for local recurrence. For pathological fractures, joints should be preserved as much as possible and curettage should be attempted. Preoperative administration of denosumab for pelvic and spinal GCTBs reduces extraosseous lesions, hardens the tumor, and facilitates en bloc resection. Nerve-sparing surgery after embolization is a possible treatment for sacral GCTBS. Denosumab therapy with or without embolization is indicated for inoperable pelvic, spinal, and sacral GCTBs. It is recommended to first observe lung metastases, then administer denosumab for growing lesions. Radiotherapy is associated with a risk of malignant transformation and should be limited to cases where surgery is impossible and denosumab, zoledronic acid, or embolization is not available. Local recurrence after 2 years or more should be indicative of malignant transformation. This review summarizes the treatment approaches for non-malignant and malignant GCTBs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2021


  • bisphosphonate
  • denosumab
  • giant cell tumor of bone
  • malignant transformation
  • metastasis
  • recurrence
  • surgery


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