Treatment Outcomes of Pediatric Patients With Ewing Sarcoma in a War-Torn Nation: A Single-Institute Experience From Iraq

J Glob Oncol. 2019 Jan;5:1-9. doi: 10.1200/JGO.18.00122.


Purpose: Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a relatively rare, highly malignant tumor of the musculoskeletal system. It is the second most common malignant bone tumor in children and adolescents in the age group of 5 to 20 years. The aim of this study was to identify the treatment outcomes of pediatric patients with ES in Sulaimani governorate, Iraq.

Patients and methods: This was a retrospective study that reviewed the medical records of pediatric patients with ES who were managed between 2009 and 2015, with follow-up until late 2017. Patient- and tumor-related factors were correlated with clinical outcomes.

Results: A total of 31 pediatric patients with ES were included in this study. All the patients received chemotherapy and radiotherapy, whereas only 14 patients underwent surgical resection and just eight had free surgical margins. The median age at diagnosis was 13 years, 58% were male, and 42% were female. The presenting symptoms at diagnosis were mostly pain (67.7%) and palpable mass (25.8%). The primary tumor was located in the extremities (51.6%), the thoracic cage (19.4%), the pelvis (16.1%), and the lumbar vertebrae (12.9%). Approximately two thirds of the patients (61.3%) had localized disease at the time of presentation. The 5-year overall survival was 19%, and the 5-year recurrence-free survival was 34%.

Conclusion: Clinical outcomes of ES in pediatric patients in our war-torn nation, Iraq, are still markedly inferior to the published outcomes from stable, developed nations. Additional large and multicenter national studies are required. Diagnostic and therapeutic measures need improvement, and multidisciplinary and comprehensive cancer-integrated approaches are vital for better outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bone Neoplasms / mortality
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iraq / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / mortality
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / therapy*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / statistics & numerical data
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • War Exposure / statistics & numerical data*