Records of 15 patients with giant cell tumor of bone treated with radiation therapy over a 35-year period were reviewed; ten patients for whom follow-up information was available constituted the study group. One patient was treated by means of orthovoltage equipment only, a second, by both orthovoltage and megavoltage equipment (cobalt 60). The remaining eight were all treated with megavoltage to doses of 40-52 Gy in 24-30 fractions. Seven patients are alive without disease, with an average survival of 192 months (range, 48-360 months). Three patients died of uncontrolled local and distant disease (average survival, 52 months; range, 23-99 months): one with metastasis in the lungs at time of treatment and two after treatment. Although incidence of lung metastasis appears high, it may be due to patient selection because chemotherapy had failed in all three. Complications from irradiation in one surviving patient required surgical closure of a dural fistula 19 years after treatment. No radiation-induced sarcomatous transformations of controlled tumors were noted. These data suggest that giant cell tumor of bone can be well controlled by radiation therapy. Megavoltage irradiation should be considered in treating local disease not easily controlled by surgery in the axial skeleton. Complications are minimal, and normal function can be preserved in the treated areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging