Although greater than 50% of Ewing tumours contain non-random cytogenetic aberrations in addition to the pathognomonic 22q12 rearrangements, little is known about their prognostic significance. To address this question, tumour samples from 134 Ewing tumour patients were analysed using a combination of classical cytogenetics, comparative genomic and fluorescence in situ hybridisation. The evaluation of the compiled data revealed that gain of chromosome 8 occurred in 52% of Ewing tumours but was not a predictive factor for outcome. Gain of 1q was associated with adverse overall survival and event-free survival in all patients, irrespective of whether the tumour was localised or disseminated (overall survival: P=0.002 and P=0.029; event-free survival: P=0.018 and P=0.010). Loss of 16q was a significant predictive factor for adverse overall survival in all patients (P=0.008) and was associated with disseminated disease at diagnosis (P=0.039). Gain of chromosome 12 was associated with adverse event-free survival (P=0.009) in patients with localised disease. These results indicate that in addition to a 22q12 rearrangement confirmation in Ewing tumours it is important to assess the copy number of 1q and 16q to identify patients with a higher probability of adverse outcome.
Copyright 2002 Cancer Research UK