Giant Cell & Tumor Markers




Large cell is a term used in oncology. It doesn't refer to a particular type of cell; rather it refers to cells that are larger than would be normally expected for that type. It is frequently used when describing lymphoma and lung cancer.


It was more frequently used in the past than it is used today, when doctors often could tell little about a cell other than its size, and it was used for classification systems such as the "Working Formulation" for lymphoma. As such, the term lives on in the names of many conditions, even when the size of the cell is no longer one of the most important diagnostic criteria. The phrase "Giant cell" is also frequently used, especially with carcinoma.




Acid Phosphatase

  • serum acid phosphatase is a useful tumour marker in diagnosing giant cell tumour of bone as well as in evaluating the efficacy of treatment. PMID: 11510907


  • Alpha-1-antichymotrypsin was a slightly better marker of giant cell lesions than was alpha-1-antitrypsin. PMID: 3539309

  • alpha 1-antitrypsin is not considered as a diagnostically useful marker for giant-cell tumor of bone. PMID: 3524506


  • CD68 positive signals were located in the cell membrane and cytoplasm of all multinucleated giant cells and some round mononuclear cells in the lesions. PMID: 16251041

Cytidine Deaminase (CD)

  • serum CD could be a useful diagnostic marker for differentiating PMR/GCA from active RA in older patients. PMID: 8575145


  • expression restricted to placental trophoblast cells and later to embryonic cardiac and neural crest cells, is a marker of giant cell differentiation. PMID: 9500551  

  • a positive regulator of giant cell differentiation. PMID: 9799236

  • plays a role in the developing chicken heart and is required for trophoblast giant cell differentiation and cardiac looping of mouse embryonic development. PMID: 9931445, PMID: 10611232, PMID: 12017545

  • essential for the formation of trophoblast giant cells of the murine placenta. PMID: 12527202

Human Placental Lactogen (HPL)

  • a marker for the placental origin of the giant cells in 'syncytial endometritis' of pregnancy. PMID: 7014653

IL-6 (interleukin-6)

  • Plasma IL-6 is more sensitive than ESR for indicating disease activity in untreated and treated giant cell arteritis (GCA) patients. PMID: 10817557

  • a cytokine stimulating bone resorption that has been demonstrated to be released by GCT cells. PMID: 12579271


  • expressed predominantly in trophoblast giant cells and the developing nervous system. PMID: 8541208


  • an accurate prognostic marker for giant cell tumours of tendon sheath. PMID: 9888669

Placental Lactogen I gene (PL1)

Placental Lactogen II (PL2)

  • the major ligand for the PRL receptor during the second half of gestation in rodents, is synthesized specifically by placental trophoblast giant cells. PMID: 9514158