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Radiation therapy of giant cell tumor of bone: analysis of 35 patients.

This paper reports 35 patients treated for giant cell tumor of bone. Ten patients were treated by surgery followed by postoperative irradiation. All 10 were cured; eight have survived for more than 5 years and four for more than 10 years without recurrence. Twenty-five patients were treated by radiation alone. All patients were followed for 2 to 17 years. For those who received more than 3500 rad, the local control rate was 82% (14/17); for those who received more than 4000 rad, the local control rate was 85% (11/13). Thirteen have lived for more than 5 years and nine have lived for more than 10. Our experience reveals that surgery and postoperative radiation produce the best results, and that these results are better than those reported in the literature. The results of radiation alone are comparable to that of surgery. For lesions not amenable to surgery, or those which would become crippling if surgery is attempted, radiation should be used either alone or in combination with conservative surgery. The dose for radiation alone should be 5000 to 6000 rad and for postoperative radiation, 3000 to 4000 rad. Supervoltage X rays (60Co or 8 Mv X ray), but not orthovoltage X rays, are indicated. A single radiation course with higher dose is preferred to multiple courses with lower doses. In 62% (15/24) of patients, pain relief begins before treatment is completed. In 74% (14/19) of patients, the tumor mass will not resolve until the sixth month after radiation.

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