Giant Cell Lesions
WHAT ARE GIANT CELL LESIONS?
Fundamentally, the bones that form the jaws and face develop in a different way to the bones of the skeleton, so naturally they have unique disorders. One group consists of tumours arising from abnormalities of tooth development. A prime example is ameloblastoma. The second group are disturbances of bone growth, often described as a fibro-osseous lesion or giant cell lesions.
TRADITIONAL TREATMENT OF GIANT CELL LESIONS
This group of disorders are related to abnormalities of bone metabolism. The result is the growth of large bony swellings that can produce significant distortion of the face and jaw. Traditionally, the approach was to surgically remove the abnormal tissue and repair the defect with new bone taken from elsewhere on the body.
PIONEERING TREATMENT OF GIANT CELL LESIONS
Over the last two decades, it has become increasingly obvious that the process of bone growth can be controlled by new drugs. These drugs slow down and direct bone growth by controlling the giant cells. The lumps can then be pared down, rather than removed, and then controlled with medication. These lesions tend to burn out naturally, so the drugs are only required while the patient is growing.