• Adamantinoma Overview

    Adamantinomas are slow-growing cancerous bone tumors that form primarily in the tibia (shin bone), but occasionally in the jaw, forearm, hands or feet. About 20 percent of the time, these tumor spread to the lungs or nearby lymph nodes.

    These rare tumors, which most often affect teenage boys and young men, usually occur after bones stop growing and require aggressive treatment. While there is no known cause, patients with adamantinoma have usually sustained trauma to the affected area.

    Adamantinoma at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s

    Children and young adults with adamantinoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Bone & Soft Tissue Program. Continue reading to learn more about adamantinoma or visit the Bone & Soft Tissue Program homepage to learn about our expertise and treatment options for this condition.

    Symptoms & Diagnosis

    The symptoms of adamantinoma may appear over a short period of time or may occur for six months or more. The most common are:

    • Pain (sharp or dull) at the tumor site
    • Swelling and/or redness at the tumor site
    • Increased pain with activity or lifting
    • Limping
    • Decreased movement of the affected limb

    In most cases, an injury brings a child to the doctor, where an X-ray may show a bone abnormality. In addition to a physical examination, other diagnostic procedures include:

    • Diagnostic imaging 
    • Biopsy
    • Bone scan to determine the cause of pain and inflammation
    • Blood and urine tests

    After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.

    Treatment & Care Options

    The best treatment option for adamantinoma is surgery because these tumors don’t generally respond to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Surgery may include:

    • Limb-salvage surgery to help preserve the limb by removing the tumor and some healthy tissue surrounding it
    • Amputation if the tumor involves major nerves or blood vessels

    Progressive or Recurrent Disease

    Recurrent adamantinoma is generally treated through additional surgery.

    Long-term Outlook

    When treated with surgery, the majority of children with adamantinoma have a very positive long-term outlook. The 10-year survival rate is around 85 percent.
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