A 6-year-old girl presented with a tumor of the right shoulder involving bone, adjacent soft tissue, and regional lymph nodes. The conventional histologic diagnosis was ambiguous, initially suggesting lymphoma. After relapse on lymphoma therapy, reevaluation with additional multiple diagnostic techniques performed on the biopsy tissue and on two cell lines derived from the biopsies established the diagnosis of a primitive neuroepithelial tumor of bone and soft tissue. This was strongly supported by 1) focal rosette formation by the tumor cells and positive immunostaining for neuron-specific enolase and synaptophysin, with absent staining for leukocyte common antigen; 2) at the ultrastructural level, formation of cellular processes containing microtubules, a paucity of neurosecretory granules, absence of synaptic junctions, formation of long "intermediate" junctions between cells, and, in culture, widespread development of rosettes; 3) marked surface positivity to W 6/32 and negativity to HSAN 1.2 antibodies; and 4) elevated expression of MYC and lack of overexpression of MYCN oncogenes. Numerical and structural abnormalities were present in the karyotype, but the expected t(11;22)(q24;q12) was not present in the tumor-involved marrow or in either of the established tumor cell lines, although there was an interstitial deletion of 11q involving breakpoints in q21 and q23.