Giant Cell Tumor

What is a giant cell tumor?

A giant cell tumor is a benign solitary tumor that usually grows in the ends of long bones, and contains unusually large cells that are called giant cells. Most commonly occur in the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone) and distal radius (wrist). Sometimes occurs in the lower end of the spinal cord.

A giant cell tumor can be quite destructive locally, and has potential to break through the bone's outer layer (cortex), cause a fracture, known as a pathological fracture, and extend into the surrounding soft tissues.

A giant cell tumor is considered benign, yet giant cell tumors can spread to the lungs. Don't worry too much, though-this rarely happens.

When it does occur, the prognosis for your child is still good; occasionally the tumor regresses without intervention.

How we care for giant cell tumors

Working together with clinicians and researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, the Head, Neck and Skull Base Surgery Program is dedicated to advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of giant cell tumors and related conditions.