Risk of recurrence and survival after relapse in patients with Ewing sarcoma

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Oct;57(4):549-53. doi: 10.1002/pbc.23040. Epub 2011 Mar 25.


Background: The prognosis in patients with relapsed Ewing sarcoma is unfavorable. Our investigation identifies factors predicting for the outcome following relapse.

Procedure: We analyzed type of relapse, time to relapse and overall survival after relapse (OSr) in 714 patients with first recurrence. All patients had been treated within the Cooperative Ewing Sarcoma Studies (CESS) 81 or 86, or the European Intergroup CESS (EICESS 92). OSr time was calculated from diagnosis of first relapse to last follow-up or death.

Results: Median follow-up time from diagnosis of primary disease was 2.2 years (mean = 4.0; range: 0.2-24.9). Relapse sites were local in 15%, combined local and systemic in 12%, and systemic in 73%. Among patients with a localized primary tumor, 20% relapsed locally, while 12% showed combined and 68% systemic relapse. When the primary disease was disseminated, 82% developed systemic, 13% combined, and 5% local relapse. Five-year OSr was 0.13 (SE = 0.01). Outcome following local relapse, with a 5-year survival rate of 0.24 (P < 0.001), was superior to outcome after systemic or combined recurrence. Five-year OSr was 0.07 (SE = 0.01) in patients who relapsed 0-2 years after the diagnosis of primary disease, as compared to a 5-year OSr of 0.29 (SE = 0.03) when relapse occurred later.

Conclusions: 5-year OSr in Ewing sarcoma is poor (<0.2). Prognostically favorable factors are: late onset (>2 years) and strictly localized relapse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / mortality*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult