Nonsurgical options to treat giant-cell tumors of the head and neck: A case report and brief review of the literature | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Nonsurgical options to treat giant-cell tumors of the head and neck: A case report and brief review of the literature

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July 18, 2016
by Allison N. Rasband-Lindquist, MD; Jonathan D. Lindquist, MD; Christopher G. Larsen, MD; Aaron Thiessen, MD; Douglas Girod, MD

Abstract

Central giant-cell granulomas (CGCGs) are relatively uncommon. When they do occur, they typically arise in the mandible and maxilla. Some lesions are more destructive than others, and the destructive subtype has a tendency to recur. Unfortunately, there is no reproducible way to differentiate aggressive from nonaggressive subtypes. Treatment of CGCG has historically been based on surgical curettage or wide local excision. However, surgery has been associated with significant morbidity, disfigurement, and expense, as well as a high recurrence rate. Pharmacologic treatments-either as an alternative or an adjunct to surgery-have been shown to yield acceptable results. These agents include intralesional and/or systemic corticosteroids, bisphosphonates, calcitonin, and interferon alfa. These options are typically less expensive than surgery, and they are associated with few side effects, which makes them potentially more desirable. We report the case of a 36-year-old woman with a CGCG who was successfully treated with a combination of an intralesional steroid and an oral steroid over a period of 5 months. As evidenced by this case, medical management can be effective for tumor regression in treating CGCG of the head and neck, and it is ultimately associated with less morbidity and is less costly. To the best of our knowledge, no randomized controlled studies have been published on this topic. Such a study would be welcome, particularly considering the presence of both aggressive and nonaggressive subtypes of CGCG. We also briefly review the literature.

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