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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1993 May 20;26(2):299-304.

Radiation therapy for giant cell tumor of bone.

Author information

  • 1Dept. of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville.



Giant cell tumor of bone is usually treated with surgical curettage. For recurrent tumors, tumors that are inoperable because of location, and tumors that would require amputation or another radical procedure limiting function, does radiotherapy provide an alternative for local control?


Sixteen patients with histologically confirmed, giant cell tumor of bone were treated at the University of Florida with irradiation between March 1973 and September 1988. Minimum follow-up was 32 months; 63% of the patients had follow-up for at least 5 years, 44% for greater than 10 years. All sites received doses of 35 Gy or more, and all were treated with megavoltage irradiation.


In 12 (75%) of 16 patients, the tumor was controlled locally with irradiation. The four failures occurred at 8, 13, 13, and 25 months following initiation of treatment. Surgical salvage was successful in all four failures for an overall local control rate of 100%. One patient developed pulmonary metastasis 1 month after surgical salvage and is alive without evidence of disease after multiple courses of chemotherapy, surgical resection, and whole-lung irradiation. All patients tolerated the treatment well with no severe or chronic complications. No secondary soft-tissue sarcomas have occurred within the irradiated areas.


Giant cell tumor of bone is not a radioresistant tumor as once believed, and complications seen with modern treatment regimens are minor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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