Randomized placebo-controlled double-blind phase II study of zaltoprofen for patients with diffuse-type and unresectable localized tenosynovial giant cell tumors: The REALIZE study

Akihiko Takeuchi, Makoto Endo, Akira Kawai, Yoshihiro Nishida, Ryu Terauchi, Akihiko Matsumine, Hisaki Aiba, Tomoki Nakamura, Susumu Tandai, Toshifumi Ozaki, Manabu Hoshi, Daiki Kayano, Miho Okuda, Norio Yamamoto, Katsuhiro Hayashi, Shinji Miwa, Kentaro Igarashi, Kenichi Yoshimura, Akihiro Nomura, Toshinori MurayamaHiroyuki Tsuchiya

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A tenosynovial giant cell tumor (TGCT) is a locally aggressive benign neoplasm arising from intra- or extra-articular tissue, categorized as localized (L-TGCT, solitary lesion) and diffuse (D-TGCT, multiple lesions) TGCT. Surgical excision is the mainstay of the treatment, and a high local recurrence rate of approximately 50% has been reported. We focused on zaltoprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and inhibit the proliferation of TGCT stromal cells. Therefore, we conducted a randomized trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of zaltoprofen in patients with D-TGCTs or unresectable L-TGCTs. Methods: This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of zaltoprofen. In the treatment group, zaltoprofen (480 mg/day) was administered for 48 weeks; the placebo group received similar dosages without zaltoprofen. The primary outcome was progression-free rate (PFR) 48 weeks after treatment administration. Disease progression was defined as the following conditions requiring surgical intervention: 1) repetitive joint swelling due to hemorrhage, 2) joint range of motion limitation, 3) invasion of the adjacent cartilage or bone, 4) severe joint space narrowing, and 5) increased tumor size (target lesion). Results: Forty-one patients were allocated to the zaltoprofen (n=21) or placebo (n=20) groups. The PFR was not significant between the zaltoprofen group and the placebo group at 48 weeks (84.0% and 90.0%, respectively; p=0.619). The mean Japanese Orthopedic Association knee score significantly improved from baseline to week 48 in the zaltoprofen group (85.38 versus 93.75, p=0.027). There was a significant difference between the values at 48 weeks of placebo and zaltoprofen group (p=0.014). One severe adverse event (grade 3 hypertension) was observed in the zaltoprofen group. Discussion: This is the first study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of zaltoprofen in patients with TGCT. No significant differences in PFR were observed between the groups at 48 weeks. Physical function significantly improved after zaltoprofen treatment. The safety profile of zaltoprofen was acceptable. This less invasive and safer treatment with zaltoprofen, compared to surgical removal, could be justified as a novel approach to treating TGCT. Further analysis of long-term administration of zaltoprofen should be considered in future studies. Clinical Trial Registration: University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry, identifier (UMIN000025901).

Original languageEnglish
Article number900010
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 21 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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