Can Denosumab cure giant cell tumors of the spine? A case report and literature review

  • Francisco Xará-LeiteEmail author
  • Luís Coutinho
  • Carolina Fleming
  • Manuel Magalhães
  • Vânia Oliveira
  • Ricardo Rodrigues-Pinto
  • Pedro Cardoso
Up-to date Review and Case Report • SPINE - TUMORS



Bone giant cell tumors, although benign, may be locally aggressive and cause severe morbidity; in some cases, they can also disseminate at distance and cause death. Denosumab has been approved to treat unresectable bone giant cell tumors or when surgery is likely to result in severe morbidity. Furthermore, its curative potential has been recently suggested.


An 18-year-old girl presented with a spinal giant cell tumor at T9. Neo-adjuvant denosumab was administered for 9 months with great clinical and analytical tolerance. A posterior left T9 costo-transversectomy and vertebral body curettage was performed and the spine stabilized. Interestingly, histopathology examination of the surgical specimens found no evidence of tumoral cells. Denosumab was reinstated until completion of 12 months of treatment.


Denosumab has an important but still limited role in the treatment of spinal giant cell tumors. Here, it resulted in complete histological resolution of the tumor, potentially widening its applicability from a strictly neo-adjuvant to a curative role.


Giant cell tumor GCT Spine Denosumab 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.


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© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel SalazarPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsCentro Hospitalar Universitário do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Department of PathologyCentro Hospitalar Universitário do PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of OncologyCentro Hospitalar Universitário do PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Musculoskeletal Tumors Unit, Department of OrthopaedicsCentro Hospitalar Universitário do PortoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.FEBOT Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel SalazarPortoPortugal
  7. 7.Spinal Unit, Department of OrthopaedicsCentro Hospitalar Universitário do PortoPortoPortugal

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