Ewing sarcoma family of tumors

Adv Anat Pathol. 2005 Jul;12(4):212-20. doi: 10.1097/01.pap.0000175114.55541.52.


The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) comprises morphologically heterogeneous tumors that are characterized by nonrandom chromosomal translocations involving the EWS gene and one of several members of the ETS family of transcription factors. The translocation t(11;22)(q24;q12) is the most common and leads to the formation of the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein, which contributes to ESFT pathogenesis by modulating the expression of target genes. Tumors may be composed of small uniform cells with minimal morphologic evidence of differentiation, or they may be composed of larger, less uniform cells with varying degrees of neuroectodermal differentiation. CD99 expression is identified in nearly all ESFT and constitutes a useful positive marker when used as part of a panel of immunostains that can help rule out other differential diagnostic considerations. Molecular diagnostic tests commonly used to detect the presence of ESFT-specific translocations include RT-PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Current therapy for patients with ESFT includes chemotherapy and surgery with or without radiation therapy. At present, the most significant prognostic factor for patients with ESFT is whether the disease is localized or metastatic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 12E7 Antigen
  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis*
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gelsolin / analysis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Incidence
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Protein c-fli-1
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / genetics*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / metabolism
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / therapy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • 12E7 Antigen
  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD99 protein, human
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • EWS-FLI fusion protein
  • FLII protein, human
  • Gelsolin
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Proto-Oncogene Protein c-fli-1
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors