What is an adamantinoma?

Bones naturally grow and change as your child gets older. However, throughout this long process, problems can sometimes occur. An adamantinoma is a slow-growing cancerous bone tumor that’s most often found in the shinbone (tibia) or the jawbone (mandible). Occasionally, these tumors grow in the forearm, hands or feet.

A diagnosis of a bone tumor can be overwhelming and your list of questions may seem endless. An important first step in understanding what lies ahead is familiarizing yourself with the basics about the type of tumor called and adamantinoma.

  • An adamantinoma is a rare tumor that occurs most often in boys and young men ages 10 to 30.
  • An adamantinoma is a serious condition requiring aggressive treatment.
  • The cause of this bone tumor is unknown.
  • An adamantinoma doesn’t respond to some traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation. Surgery is usually recommended to remove the tumor.
  • This kind of cancer spreads to other parts of the body about 20 percent of the time.
  • The best treatment is surgical removal of the tumor.
  • Amputation is rare, but it can be necessary in some cases.
  • Ongoing follow-up care is very important for keeping your child healthy and checking to see if the tumor has grown back.
  • For most children with adamantinoma, the long-term outlook is very positive. 

The detailed information on the following pages will help you gain a better understanding of adamantinoma and a clearer picture of what to expect.

How we care for adamantinomas

The diagnosis of a life-threatening condition, like cancer, affects your entire family. We’re here to help you every step of the way. At Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we offer the ideal setting, utilizing world-recognized cancer expertise at Dana-Farber and internationally renowned pediatric expertise at Boston Children’s Hospital within the research and educational setting of Harvard Medical School. We are a top cancer center and top children’s hospital. 

Experts in our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program are devoted to caring for children and teenagers with adamantinoma of the tibia and other bone and soft tissue disorders. Adamantinomas of the jawbone are treated through our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program. Children who need surgery as part of their treatment also receive treatment through our Orthopedic Care Center

Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures in-depth discussion of each case and personalized treatment plans for every child. We integrate expertise from the a wide variety of specialists: 

  • pediatric oncologists, surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists
  • pediatric experts from every medical subspecialty, such as orthopedics, pathology, physical therapy and radiology
  • highly skilled and experienced pediatric oncology nurses
  • Child Life specialists, psychologists, social workers and resource specialists who provide supportive care before, during and after treatment