Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

A giant cell tumor of bone is made up of a large number of benign (noncancerous) cells that come together to form an aggressive tumor. These rare bone tumors usually occur near the end of a bone, near one of your joints such as your knee or wrist.

If you or someone you love has a giant cell tumor, learning more about this condition can give you a clearer picture of what lies ahead. At the Orthopaedic Oncology Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, our orthopaedic specialists are highly skilled in the tests and techniques necessary to accurately diagnose and effectively treat giant cell tumors.

Why Choose MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper for Orthopaedic Oncology Care?

When you choose MD Anderson at Cooper for orthopaedic oncology care, you benefit from our expert orthopaedic oncology team. You’ll benefit from:

  • Expertise: In a region that boasts some of the nation’s finest medical centers, our cancer and orthopaedic specialists have been recognized as “Top Doctors” by the regional media. Our team’s extensive experience in this highly specialized field means we’ll provide you the highest level of care.
  • Experience: Because giant cell tumors are so rare, it is important for you to seek doctors who have many years of experience treating this condition. Our specialists perform more than 600 surgeries every year, more than other centers in the region. You can trust us to find the most effective treatment for your specific circumstances.
  • Personalized care: Our specialists have devoted their careers to treating patients like you, and we treat every patient like family. Our surgeons go above and beyond to ensure they’re available when you need an expert opinion.
  • Team approach to treatment: Our specialists, including orthopaedic oncologists, musculoskeletal radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, nurses, and other professionals, pool their expertise to develop a comprehensive evaluation and an individualized treatment plan for you.
  • Access to clinical trials: With the backing of MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s pioneers in medical oncology research and development, our doctors are active in a wide variety of clinical trials. All patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper are candidates for promising, cutting-edge treatment options that may not be available anywhere else in the region.
  • Advanced diagnostic capabilities: We have access to many advanced diagnostic tests that can accurately detect a giant cell tumor. Your doctor may use a combination of imaging scans such as X-ray or specialized bone scans that use nuclear imaging to detect bone diseases and tumors. A needle biopsy may also be required, and we are proud to work alongside expert pathologists who will assist in achieving your precise diagnosis.
  • Comprehensive follow-up: Because certain benign bone tumors can come back after treatment, it’s important for your doctor to monitor you closely long term to ensure long-lasting, successful results. Our doctors will work with you to manage your care as long as necessary.


Symptoms of a Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

Not everyone will experience symptoms of a giant cell tumor in the same way. Many of the most common symptoms of a giant cell tumor of bone also resemble other medical conditions that are routine. You should always consult your doctor if you experience worrisome symptoms that won’t go away.

Common symptoms of a giant cell tumor of bone include:

  • Pain at the joint near the affected bone
  • A visible mass, such as an unexplained lump or bump
  • Swelling near an affected area
  • A bone fracture, or break
  • Trouble moving a joint near the affected bone
  • A buildup of fluid in a joint near the affected bone

Treatment for a Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

Your doctors will consider many different factors before determining a treatment plan for you. These factors include:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Grade and stage of the tumor
  • How well you tolerate specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • How the disease might progress
  • Your preferences and goals

When recommending treatment for a giant cell tumor of bone, the goal is to remove the tumor and prevent damage to the end of the affected bone. Treatment may include:

  • Surgery, to remove the tumor and any damaged bone or to reconstruct the bone
  • Bone grafting, which is a surgical procedure where healthy bone from another part of your body gets transplanted into the affected area to repair damaged bone
  • Radiation therapy, when a tumor cannot be removed with surgery
  • Physical therapy, which can restore your strength and movement after surgery

Contact Us

To learn more about the giant cell tumor services available at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper or to schedule an appointment, please call 856.361.1754.

Refer a Patient

If you are a doctor who wants to refer a patient to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper for giant cell tumor treatment, please call 856.361.1754.