Management of Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor: A Neoplastic and Inflammatory Disease

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2020 Nov;4(11):e20.00028. doi: 10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-20-00028.


Background: Patients with diffuse tenosynovial giant cell tumor (TGCT) face a high risk of recurrence, progression, and disability. This systematic review assesses the recent evidence of surgical, adjuvant, and systemic treatments for TGCT.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Ovid with the terms "Giant cell tumor of tendon sheath" OR "pigmented villonodular synovitis" OR "tenosynovial giant cell" AND "treatment" OR "surgery."

Inclusion criteria: published 2013 to present; prospective or retrospective design; English language; > 20 patients with histopathological confirmed diagnosis of TGCT; and ≥ 1 efficacy and/or safety outcome from surgery, systemic drug therapy, or adjuvant yttrium radiosynoviorthesis.

Results: Of the 434 studies identified, 25 met the inclusion criteria. Of 11 studies in patients with disease in the knee, nine examined surgical treatment approaches, and two evaluated adjuvant yttrium radiosynoviorthesis. Of 11 studies in patients with mixed sites of disease, six assessed surgical treatment approaches, and five evaluated systemic drug therapies. Three studies assessed surgery in patients with TGCT in the hand, hip, and ankle or foot.

Discussion: The high rates of recurrence and risks associated with surgery emphasize the need for novel treatments in patients with symptomatic, advanced TGCT. Systemic therapy may be valuable as part of a multidisciplinary approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Giant Cell Tumor of Tendon Sheath* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Synovitis, Pigmented Villonodular* / surgery