Modern Interpretation of Giant Cell Tumor of Bone: Predominantly Osteoclastogenic Stromal Tumor

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Clinics in orthopedic surgery 06/2012; 4(2):107-16. DOI: 10.4055/cios.2012.4.2.107
Source: PubMed


Owing to striking features of numerous multinucleated cells and bone destruction, giant cell tumor (GCT) of bone, often called as osteoclastoma, has drawn major attractions from orthopaedic surgeons, pathologists, and radiologists. The name GCT or osteoclastoma gives a false impression of a tumor comprising of proliferating osteoclasts or osteoclast precursors. The underlying mechanisms for excessive osteoclastogenesis are intriguing and GCT has served as an exciting disease model representing a paradigm of osteoclastogenesis for bone biologists. The modern interpretation of GCT is predominantly osteoclastogenic stromal cell tumors of mesenchymal origin. A diverse array of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines disrupts osteoblastic differentiation and promotes the formation of excessive multi-nucleated osteoclastic cells. Pro-osteoclastogenic cytokines such as receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) as well as monocyte-recruiting chemokines such as stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 participate in unfavorable osteoclastogenesis and bone destruction. This model represents a self-sufficient osteoclastogenic paracrine loop in a localized area. Consistent with this paradigm, a recombinant RANK-Fc protein and bisphosphonates are currently being tried for GCT treatment in addition to surgical excision and conventional topical adjuvant therapies.

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