Osteoarticular and intercalary allograft transplantation in the management of malignant tumors of bone

Cancer. 1982 Aug 15;50(4):613-30. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19820815)50:4<613::aid-cncr2820500402>3.0.co;2-l.


Since 1971, the Orthopaedic Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital has treated 106 patients with malignant or aggressive bone tumors by wide resection and replacement with frozen cadaveric allograft. Sixty-one of these patients have been followed for over two years (mean, 4.5 years), allowing a comprehensive end-results analysis. In 45 patients, mostly with giant-cell tumors of chondrosarcomas, the resection involved the articular end of a long bone and the replacement not only included bone, but glycerolized (to prevent freezing injury) and articular cartilage. Ten of the segments were intercalary (bone alone) and six involved a combination of bone and metallic joint prosthesis. Patients were graded as excellent, good, fair, or failure, depending principally on functional capacity. End-results analysis in this group showed that five of the 61 patients had either a local recurrence (2) and/or distant metastases (3); in five additional patients the limb was amputated or the implant removed, primarily because of infection (total failure rate, 16.5%). Forty-five (73.8%) had successful transplants (graded excellent or good) and were able to live essentially normal lives. Six of the patients (10%) required a brace or cane but three of these patients were able to return to preoperative work activities. Although the operations were arduous and difficult, and despite a high infection rate (13%) and occasional pathologic fractures (10%), the results compare favorably with other techniques used to restore the skeleton following massive segmental resection. In long-term follow-up, the data suggest that if no complication ensue in the first two years, the results are generally quite good and the grafts show no evidence of progressive deterioration with time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Bone Transplantation*
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Cartilage, Articular / transplantation*
  • Chondrosarcoma / surgery*
  • Extremities
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Transplantation, Homologous