Background: Giant cell tumor of bone (GCTB) is a rare primary bone tumor, characterized by osteoclast-like giant cells that express receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (RANK), and stromal cells that express RANK ligand (RANKL), a key mediator of osteoclast activation. A RANKL-specific inhibitor, denosumab, was predicted to reduce osteolysis and control disease progression in patients with GCTB. Patients and methods: Seventeen patients with GCTB were enrolled. Patients were treated with denosumab at 120 mg every 4 weeks, with a loading dose of 120 mg on days 8 and 15. To evaluate efficacy, objective tumor response was evaluated prospectively by an independent imaging facility on the basis of prespecified criteria. Results: The proportion of patients with an objective tumor response was 88% based on best response using any tumor response criteria. The proportion of patients with an objective tumor response using individual response criteria was 35% based on the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria, 82% based on the modified European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) criteria, and 71% based on inverse Choi criteria. The median time of study treatment was 13.1 months. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate that denosumab has robust clinical efficacy in the treatment of GCTB.
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