Health Information

Giant Cell Tumor


What is a giant cell tumor?

A giant cell tumor is one that is made up of a large number of benign (non-cancerous) cells that form an aggressive tumor - usually near the end of the bone near a joint. The location of a giant cell tumor is often in the knee, but can also involve the bones of the arms and the legs, or the flat bones such as the sternum (breastbone) or pelvis.

Giant cell tumors most often occur when skeletal bone growth is complete. Most occur in the long bones of the legs and arms.

What causes giant cell tumors?

While the exact cause of giant cell tumors remains unknown, in some cases, they have been linked to Paget's disease. Paget's disease of the bone is a chronic bone disorder in which bones become enlarged and deformed.

Treatment for a giant cell tumor:

Specific treatment for giant cell tumors will be determined by your physician based on:
  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference