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PURPOSE: To present a case of aggressive sacral osteoblastoma (OB) treated with neoadjuvant denosumab therapy and en bloc resection. METHODS: Case report of a 14-year-old male with an aggressive OB affecting the superior articular process of the left first sacral segment. The lesion was lytic and metabolically active and involved the left-sided posterior elements of S1-S3 with extension into the spinal canal, affecting the left S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5 nerve roots. He was treated for 1 month with neoadjuvant denosumab followed by en bloc resection. RESULTS: Denosumab therapy caused regression of the tumour and converted the diffuse infiltrative mass into a well-defined solid (osteoma-like) structure, aiding surgical resection and preserving the S1, S4 and S5 nerve roots. Histologically, the treated lesion showed abundant sclerotic woven bone and osteoblasts with absence of osteoclasts. CONCLUSIONS: A short course of denosumab caused tumour regression, ossification and conversion of an aggressive OB into a sclerotic, well-defined lesion thus aiding surgical resection and preservation of neural structures. Neoadjuvant therapy reduced osteoclast numbers but PET showed that the lesion remained FDG avid post-therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur spine j

Publication Date





446 - 452


Denosumab, Osteoblastoma, RANK, Tumour, Adolescent, Bone Density Conservation Agents, Bone Neoplasms, Denosumab, Humans, Male, Neoadjuvant Therapy, Osteoblastoma, Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography, Sacrum, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Treatment Outcome