Diagnosis and Treatment of Lumbar Giant Cell Tumor of the Spine: Update on Current Management Strategies

Andrew R. Leggett, Ari R. Berg, Heidi Hullinger, Joseph B. Benevenia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


(1) Background: Giant Cell Tumor of the spine remains a difficult tumor to treat. Recent advances in adjuvant therapy such as denosumab and innovations in surgical technique in the last 5 years have given providers new options for treatment after a successful diagnosis of the tumor. (2) Methods: Articles published between 1927 and 2021 were selected from PubMed and Scopus searches using key words “Giant Cell Tumor” AND “Lumbar Spine” AND “Treatment”. Relevant articles were reviewed and selected by the authors. (3) Results: A total of 191 articles were discovered. Complete en bloc spondylectomy remains the most definitive treatment option; however, this surgery is challenging and carries a high rate of complication. New adjuvant therapies including denosumab offer a viable alternative to surgery. (4) En bloc spondylectomy remains the gold standard treatment for Giant Cell Tumor of the spine with the lowest published recurrence rate. The use of (neo)adjuvant denosumab improves recurrence rates. More data are needed to determine if denosumab alone is a viable standalone definitive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number857
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


  • denosumab
  • diagnosis
  • en bloc spondylectomy
  • giant cell tumor
  • lumbar spine
  • treatment


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