Identification of patient selection criteria and understanding of the potential mechanisms involved in the development of resistance are crucial for an appropriate and successful design of clinical trials with anti-insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1R therapies. Few Ewing's sarcomas are highly sensitive to IGF-1R targeting and understanding the reason why, may hold the secret to improve successful treatments. In this paper, we show that a major mechanism of resistance to highly specific inhibitors of IGF-1R, either antibodies or tyrosine kinase inhibitors may involve enhanced insulin receptor (IR)-A homodimer formation and IGF-2 production. Resistant cells are able to switch from IGF-1/IGF-1R to IGF-2/IR-A dependency to maintain sustained activation of AKT and ERK1/2, proliferation, migration and metastasis. These cells also showed higher proliferative response to insulin, in keeping with a switch towards insulin pathways sustaining proliferation and malignancy, rather than metabolism. Our findings demonstrate a role for IR-A in eliciting intrinsic and adaptive resistance to anti-IGF-1R therapies. Thus, we indicate that tumors with low IGF-1R:IR ratio are unlikely to greatly benefit from anti-IGF-1R therapies and that the efficacy of anti-IGF-1R therapies should be evaluated in relationship to the IR-A:IGF-1R ratio in cancer cells. Moreover, we provide evidences supporting IR-A as an important target in sarcoma therapy.