European Spine Journal

, Volume 27, Supplement 3, pp 555–560 | Cite as

Solitary juvenile xanthogranuloma in the spine pretreated with neoadjuvant denosumab therapy followed by surgical resection in a 5-year-old child: case report and literature review

  • Tero Irmola
  • Minna K. Laitinen
  • Jyrki Parkkinen
  • Jacob Engellau
  • Marko H. Neva
Case Report



We present a case report that describes neoadjuvant denosumab therapy initiated in a child with a solitary giant cell-rich juvenile xanthogranuloma tumor involving the spine, and review the current literature.


A giant cell-rich histiocytic lesion involving the 11th thoracic vertebral body was identified in a healthy 5-year-old girl with persistent back and pelvic pain for several months. Imaging examinations and an open biopsy were performed to obtain a definite pathologic diagnosis. As the tumor appeared to be aggressive in nature, we administered adjuvant therapy with denosumab preoperatively and then performed a total spondylectomy.


Histopathology confirmed that the tumor was juvenile xanthogranuloma. No tumor metastases or recurrence were detected at the 3-year follow-up, and the patient was asymptomatic.


In giant cell-rich tumors, denosumab is occasionally used as neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy, especially for tumors in difficult locations or with substantial soft tissue extensions. Rare adverse events in children include skin infections and disruption of calcium homeostasis. Surgical treatment is aimed at removing the tumor and relieving the symptomatic spinal cord compression. Use of denosumab as neoadjuvant therapy for juvenile xanthogranuloma involving the spine has not been reported previously.


Spine Tumor Xanthogranuloma Denosumab Hypercalcemia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tero Irmola
    • 1
  • Minna K. Laitinen
    • 2
  • Jyrki Parkkinen
    • 3
  • Jacob Engellau
    • 4
  • Marko H. Neva
    • 2
  1. 1.Coxa, Hospital for Joint ReplacementTampereFinland
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Unit of Musculoskeletal SurgeryTampere University HospitalTampereFinland
  3. 3.Fimlab LaboratoriesTampereFinland
  4. 4.Department of OncologySkane University HospitalLundSweden

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