Primary lung tumors infiltrated by osteoclast-like giant cells

Thèrése J. Bocklage, David Dail, Thomas V. Colby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Six primary lung tumors with numerous multinucleated osteoclast-like giant cells (OLGCs) and no osteogenic component were evaluated histologically and immunohistochemically to examine pulmonary lesions inciting an OLGC response. The patients comprised four women and two men ranging in age from 61 to 80 years (average age, 69 years). The tumors consisted of one adenocarcinoma, two sarcomatoid carcinomas, and three giant cell variants of malignant fibrous histiocytoma. One tumor was endobronchial in location, while five were situated peripherally. Tumor diameter spanned from 1 to 6.5 cm (average, 2.7 cm). In addition to the giant cells, common characteristics included the malignant nature of the neoplasms and, in five of six cases, histologically malignant mesenchyme. This array of cases exemplifies the variability of lung lesions which may elicit an OLGC inflammatory response resulting in areas resembling the giant cell variant of malignant fibrous histiocytoma. The results of this study suggest that OLGCs occur preferentially in malignant rather than benign nonosteogenic lung tumors and that sarcomatoid regions of malignant tumors are more likely to be infiltrated by OLGCs than epithelial regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Carcinosarcoma
  • Giant cells
  • Lung tumors
  • Osteoclasts
  • Sarcomatoid carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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