Tumour-induced osteomalacia: a literature review and a case report

World J Surg Oncol. 2016 Jan 8;14(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s12957-015-0763-7.


Tumour-induced osteomalacia (TIO) is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome characterised by severe hypophosphataemia and osteomalacia, with renal phosphate wasting that occurs in association with tumour. The epidemiology likewise aetiology is not known. The clinical presentation of TIO includes bone fractures, bone and muscular pains, and sometimes height and weight loss. TIO may be associated with mesenchymal tumours which may be benign or malignant in rare cases. Mesenchymal tumour itself may be related to fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), which is responsible for hypophosphataemia and phosphaturia occurring in this paraneoplastic syndrome. Hypophosphataemia, phosphaturia and elevated alkaline phosphatase are the main laboratory readings that may lead to more precise investigations and better diagnosis. Finding the tumour can be a major diagnostic challenge and may involve total body magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and scintigraphy using radiolabelled somatostatin analogue. The treatment of choice for TIO is resection of a tumour with a wide margin to insure complete tumour removal, as recurrences of these tumours have been reported. We provide here an overview on the current available TIO case reports and review the best practices that may lead to earlier recognition of TIO and the subsequent treatment thereof, even though biochemical background and the long-term prognosis of the disease are not well understood. This review also includes a 4-year-long history of a patient that featured muscular pains, weakness and multiple stress fractures localised in the hips and vertebra with subsequent recovery after tumour resection. Because the occurrence of such a condition is rare, it may take years to correctly diagnose the disease, as is reported in this case report.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Femoral Neoplasms / complications
  • Femoral Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Hemangiopericytoma / complications
  • Hemangiopericytoma / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Hypophosphatemia / diagnosis
  • Hypophosphatemia / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteomalacia / diagnosis
  • Osteomalacia / etiology*
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / etiology*