Although benign, giant cell tumors of the jaw can be aggressive, locally destructive, and disfiguring. Traditionally, patients with giant cell tumors faced resection of the jaw, including removal of surrounding bone and nerves, followed by reconstructive surgery.
The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, through its Skeletal Biology Research Center, has developed an alternate treatment for patients with these tumors that involves a single, less radical procedure followed by chemotherapy. First reported in the journal Pediatrics in 1999, our group has had remarkable success treating giant cell tumors with less invasive enucleation of the tumor followed by postoperative antiangiogenic therapy using interferon. This is in contrast to surgical removal of the area and reconstruction with a bone graft. With an enrollment of over 40 subjects in this protocol, the recurrence rate is 5% compared to an historic recurrence rate of 30-60% for these tumors. When the tumor recurs, it can be retreated with interferon or a combination of interferon and a bisphosphonate.
We continue to enroll patients to study the long-term outcomes of those treated and to identify other variables that can improve treatment of patients with these and similar conditions. For patient or physician inquiries about this novel protocol or enrolling in our study, contact us at 617-726-2740.
If you would like to request an appointment with or refer a patient to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, please use the following contact information.