Current treatment for Ewing's sarcoma

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2005 Apr;5(2):319-31. doi: 10.1586/14737140.5.2.319.


Ewing's sarcoma is the second most common primary bone tumor seen in children and adolescents, and was described by James Ewing in 1921 as a diffuse endothelioma of bone. It is one of the differential diagnoses of pediatric small round blue cell tumors. This is not a single condition, but a group of morphologically and clinically closely related disorders with similar molecular biology -- expression of tumor-specific chimeric oncoproteins through balanced chromosomal translocations involving the EWS gene -- often referred to as the Ewing family of tumors. This includes Ewing's sarcoma of bone, extra-osseous Ewing's sarcoma, Askin tumor and peripheral neuroectodermal tumor. These are aggressive neoplasms with almost 25% of patients having clinically evident metastases at presentation. Ewing's sarcoma has therefore been considered as a systemic disease necessitating local as well as systemic treatment. An aggressive multidisciplinary approach has resulted in significant improvement in prognosis for patients with these tumors. Despite aggressive treatment, 20-40% of patients with localized disease and almost 80% of patients with metastatic disease at presentation succumb to the illness. Advances in understanding the molecular biology of these tumors will hopefully result in the development of novel treatment approaches. The aim of this article is to review the existing treatment methods and to highlight the more recent approaches to the treatment of this condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / radiotherapy
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / surgery