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Ewing's Sarcoma

Ewing's sarcoma / Peripheral Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumours (PNET) of bone is a type of cancer usually found in children and young adults. The peak incidence is between ages 10 and 20, it is less common in children under 5 or in adults over 30. Ewing's s can occur in any bone in the body; the most common sites are the pelvis, thigh, lower leg, upper arm, and rib. The tumour is composed of small round blue cells. Ewing's sarcoma can also arise in soft tissue (extra-skeletal); see Soft Tissue Sarcoma in this guide.

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See also: Genetic features of Ewing's Sarcoma

Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Cheng JH, Chiang LY, Kuo DJ
Inadvertently boarding a pirate ship: disease progression in a paediatric patient with relapsed metastatic Ewing sarcoma receiving treatment at a centre for alternative therapy in Mexico.
BMJ Case Rep. 2017; 2017 [PubMed] Related Publications
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are commonly incorporated into the care of patients with paediatric cancer. Many modalities are safe and effective during cancer treatment and have proved beneficial for symptom relief and quality of life. However, situations where alternative therapy is provided without allopathic medical care supportive care resources can pose a safety risk to patients. This report describes the case of a 16-year-old Chinese girl with metastatic Ewing sarcoma who sought treatment with alternative treatment in Mexico. When her disease progressed with an ensuing significant loss of function, the centre personnel were unable to respond to her acute deterioration or provide necessary medical care. This resulted in her being stranded in a foreign country paralysed, isolated, and with large unanticipated financial expenditures.

Cernat E, Docquier PL, Paul L, et al.
Patient Specific Instruments for Complex Tumor Resection-Reconstruction Surgery within the Pelvis: A Series of 4 Cases.
Chirurgia (Bucur). 2016 Sept-Oct; 111(5):439-444 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pelvis bone resection-reconstruction surgery is one of the most challenging fields in orthopedics. Being applied for tumors, as for other complex reconstruction cases, this type of surgery needs careful planning and is time consuming, in order to obtain proper accuracy. Unfortunately not all the time the expected accuracy is met, with consequences for the patients. PSI proved to provide good cutting accuracy during simulated tumor surgery within the pelvis. This article present a series of 4 patients operated in our department between June 2014 and Mars 2015 for tumors resectionreconstructions. The patients were imaged using a CT and an MRI scan and the images were reconstructed in 3D. According to the bone bank stock, the most similar allograft was chosen and the stored CT scan was reconstructed in 3D. Patient specific instruments (PSI) were designed and manufactured using rapid-prototyping technology for the resection of the native tissues as for the resection of the careful selected hemipelvic allografts. Allografts fitting to the pelvis of the patients was excellent and allowed stable osteosynthesis.

Starc MT, Rosenblum MK, Meyers PA, Hatzoglou V
Rare presentation of Ewing sarcoma metastasis to the sella and suprasellar cistern.
Clin Imaging. 2017 Jan - Feb; 41:73-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
We present an exceedingly rare case of a Ewing sarcoma metastasis manifesting as a sellar mass mimicking a pituitary adenoma. The differential diagnosis of the young adult with a sellar mass is presented and correlated with a review of available literature, demonstrating this case's unique potential for clinical teaching. More specifically, this case illustrates that in a patient with a clinical history of Ewing sarcoma, a metastasis may involve the sella and suprasellar cistern without apparent osseous involvement.

He T, Surdez D, Rantala JK, et al.
High-throughput RNAi screen in Ewing sarcoma cells identifies leucine rich repeats and WD repeat domain containing 1 (LRWD1) as a regulator of EWS-FLI1 driven cell viability.
Gene. 2017; 596:137-146 [PubMed] Related Publications
A translocation leading to the formation of an oncogenic EWS-ETS fusion protein defines Ewing sarcoma. The most frequent gene fusion, present in 85 percent of Ewing sarcomas, is EWS-FLI1. Here, a high-throughput RNA interference screen was performed to identify genes whose function is critical for EWS-FLI1 driven cell viability. In total, 6781 genes were targeted by siRNA molecules and the screen was performed both in presence and absence of doxycycline-inducible expression of the EWS-FLI1 shRNA in A673/TR/shEF Ewing sarcoma cells. The Leucine rich repeats and WD repeat Domain containing 1 (LRWD1) targeting siRNA pool was the strongest hit reducing cell viability only in EWS-FLI1 expressing Ewing sarcoma cells. LRWD1 had been previously described as a testis specific gene with only limited information on its function. Analysis of LRWD1 mRNA levels in patient samples indicated that high expression associated with poor overall survival in Ewing sarcoma. Gene ontology analysis of LRWD1 co-expressed genes in Ewing tumors revealed association with DNA replication and analysis of differentially expressed genes in LRWD1 depleted Ewing sarcoma cells indicated a role in connective tissue development and cellular morphogenesis. Moreover, EWS-FLI1 repressed genes with repressive H3K27me3 chromatin marks were highly enriched among LRWD1 target genes in A673/TR/shEF Ewing sarcoma cells, suggesting that LRWD1 contributes to EWS-FLI1 driven transcriptional regulation. Taken together, we have identified LRWD1 as a novel regulator of EWS-FLI1 driven cell viability in A673/TR/shEF Ewing sarcoma cells, shown association between high LRWD1 mRNA expression and aggressive disease and identified processes by which LRWD1 may promote oncogenesis in Ewing sarcoma.

Dramis A, Grimer RJ, Malizos K, et al.
Non-Metastatic Pelvic Ewing's Sarcoma : oncologic outcomes and evaluation of prognostic factors.
Acta Orthop Belg. 2016; 82(2):216-221 [PubMed] Related Publications
We are reporting our experience on patients with -pelvic Ewing's Sarcoma treated in our unit. We retrospectively reviewed a series of patients with non-metastatic pelvic Ewing's sarcoma treated between 1977 and 2009. Patients were classified into three groups according to the local treatment received : Group 1. radiotherapy-chemo ; Group 2. surgery-chemo and Group 3. radiotherapy-surgery-chemo. Recurrence free and overall survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Influence of various factors (age at diagnosis, gender, tumour site and size, chemotherapy response, surgical margins and type of treatment) on survival was assessed with a logistic regression model. A total of 85 patients were treated with a mean follow-up of 65.8 months and mean -tumour volume of 435ml. The 5-year survival for all patients was 40.7% decreased to 36.2% at 10 years. A significant prognostic factor identified was chemotherapy response only. There was a trend for improved survival and local control rates for patients who had chemotherapy and surgery and the results were apparent for all tumours irrespective of size but not statistically significant. Currently, the optimal management of pelvic Ewing's sarcoma is contro-versial but our study shows a trend for improved -survival for patients treated with chemotherapy and surgery.

Palmerini E, Colangeli M, Nanni C, et al.
The role of FDG PET/CT in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for localized bone sarcomas.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017; 44(2):215-223 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
PURPOSE: The histological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is an important prognostic factor in patients with osteosarcoma (OS) and Ewing sarcoma (EWS). The aim of this study was to assess baseline primary tumour FDG uptake on PET/CT, and serum values of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), to establish whether these factors are correlated with tumour necrosis and prognosis.
METHODS: Patients treated between 2009 and 2014 for localized EWS and OS, who underwent FDG PET/CT as part of their staging work-up, were included. The relationships between primary tumour SUVmax at baseline (SUV1), SUVmax after induction chemotherapy (SUV2), metabolic response calculated as [(SUV1 - SUV2)/SUV1)] × 100, LDH and ALP and tumour response/survival were analysed. A good response (GR) was defined as tumour necrosis >90 % in patients with OS, and grade II-III Picci necrosis (persitence of microscopic foci only or no viable tumor) in patients with Ewing sarcoma.
RESULTS: The study included 77 patients, 45 with EWS and 32 with OS. A good histological response was achieved in 53 % of EWS patients, and 41 % of OS patients. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) was 57 % in EWS patients and 48 % OS patients. The median SUV1 was 5.6 (range 0 - 17) in EWS patients and 7.9 (range 0 - 24) in OS patients (p = 0.006). In EWS patients the GR rate was 30 % in those with a high SUV1 (≥6) and 72 % in those with a lower SUV1 (p = 0.0004), and in OS patients the GR rate was 29 % in those with SUV1 ≥6 and 64 % in those with a lower SUV1 (p = 0.05). In the univariate analysis the 3-year EFS was significantly better in patients with a low ALP level (59 %) than in those with a high ALP level (22 %, p = 0.02) and in patients with a low LDH level (62 %) than in those with a high LDH level (37 %, p = 0.004). In EWS patients the 3-year EFS was 37 % in those with a high SUV1 and 75 % in those with a low SUV1 (p = 0.004), and in OS patients the 3-year EFS was 32 % in those with a high SUV1 and 66 % in those with a low SUV1 (p = 0.1). Histology, age and gender were not associated with survival. In the multivariate analysis, SUV1 was the only independent pretreatment prognostic factor to retain statistical significance (p = 0.017). SUV2 was assessed in 25 EWS patients: the median SUV2 was 1.9 (range 1 - 8). The GR rate was 20 % in patients with a high SUV2, and 67 % in those with a low SUV2 (p = 0.02). A good metabolic response (SUV reduction of ≥55 %) was associated with a 3-year EFS of 80 % and a poor metabolic response with a 3-year EFS of 20 % (p = 0.05). In the OS patients the median SUV2 was 2.7 (range 0 - 4.5). Neither SUV2 nor the metabolic response was associated with outcome in OS patients.
CONCLUSION: FDG PET/CT is a useful and noninvasive tool for identifying patients who are more likely to be resistant to chemotherapy. If this finding is confirmed in a larger series, SUV1, SUV2 and metabolic response could be proposed as factors for stratifying EWS patients to identify those with high-grade localized bone EWS who would benefit from risk-adapted induction chemotherapy.

Ishiguro M, Yuki M, Fukushige T, et al.
Molecular cytogenetic characterization of two established ESFT cell lines.
Hum Cell. 2017; 30(1):41-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing's sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor/Askin's tumor (Ewing`s sarcoma family of tumors: ESFT) is the most common type of malignant tumor of bone and soft tissue in children and young adults, and morphologically is a member of a group of small round cell tumors. We report, here, on the establishment of two human ESFT cell lines, FU-PNET-3 and FU-PNET-4, from the iliac and the chest wall, respectively, the cells of both cell lines were tumorigenic in immunodeficient mice. Histologically, both original and xenograft tumors and cultured cells were composed of small round cells with positive immunoreactivity for CD99 and Nkx2.2. Molecular biological examination demonstrated chimeric transcripts of EWSR1 exon 7 to FLI1 exon 6 in FU-PNET-3 cells, and EWSR1 exon 10 to FLI1 exon 6 in FU-PNET-4 cells. Cytogenetic analysis revealed chromosome translocation t(11;22)(q24;q12) and some secondary changes in both cultured cells. These histological, molecular biological, and cytogenetical findings indicate ESFT in both cell lines. ESFT is well studied, but its recurrent fusion genes are heterogeneous and its biological behaviors are unclear. The FU-PNET-3 and FU-PNET-4 cell lines have been well examined and may become useful tools for studying the genetic and biological behavioral properties of ESFT.

Mörse H, Elfving M, Turkiewicz A, et al.
Severe gonadotoxic insult manifests early in young girls treated for Ewing sarcoma.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(33):e4512 [PubMed] Related Publications
We prospectively investigated anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) as a measure of ovarian insult in young females during and after treatment for Wilms tumor (WT), osteosarcoma (OS), and Ewing sarcoma (ES).Twenty-one female childhood cancer patients, with a mean age of 7.9 years (range 0.6-17), entered the study. Levels of AMH, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone were monitored at diagnosis and every 3 to 4 months during, and regularly for a mean of 2.6 years after treatment.A profound decline in AMH was seen in the majority of the 21 study patients 3 to 4 months after the beginning of treatment, the exception being patients with WT, of whom 60% showed no such decline. During the remaining treatment, all patients except those with WT not treated with whole abdominal radiotherapy or stem cell transplantation (SCT) had AMH below detection limit.After completion of treatment, patients with OS and WT (without whole abdominal radiotherapy and SCT) recovered in AMH and had FSH in the normal range. In contrast, ES patients showed no AMH recovery and highly fluctuating FSH in the first years of follow-up, except for the 2 youngest patients, who had a late, slow AMH recovery.In conclusion, young female ES patients already showed signs of severe ovarian dysfunction during the first years after cancer treatment similar to patients treated with SCT and abdominal radiotherapy, in contrast to females with WT and OS. Fertility counseling and information concerning fertility preservation procedures should be considered before starting to treat young females with ES.

Sabir H, Kumbhare S, Pande S, et al.
Primary Ewing sarcoma of the coronoid process of mandible.
J Ir Dent Assoc. 2016 Jun-Jul; 62(3):167-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a rare, primary malignancy of the bone that occurs mainly in childhood and early adolescence. ES usually occurs in long bones of the axial skeleton. Although uncommon in the jaws, ES at this site is most likely to occur in the posterior mandible. The outcome for patients with localised disease has improved over the decades, due to better combination chemotherapies and better methods of local control. We present the clinicopathologic features and management of a case of ES that developed in the left coronoid process of the mandible of a 31-year-old male. Chemotherapy and, later, a segmental mandibulectomy were used to achieve local control. A fibula-free flap repair was performed with good aesthetic results. This case elucidates the importance of the interdisciplinary approach required for the evaluation and treatment of this aggressive neoplasm.

Salet MC, Vogels R, Brons P, et al.
Maturation toward neuronal tissue in a Ewing sarcoma of bone after chemotherapy.
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11(1):74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ewing sarcoma is the second most common bone tumor, occurring mainly in children and young adults. It shows a typical primitive, small round cell morphology and a characteristic fusion oncogene involving EWSR1 and members of the ETS family in most of the cases. Neuronal maturation after chemotherapy is a rare phenomenon and we herein describe such an exceptional case.
CASE PRESENTATION: An 8-year old boy was diagnosed with a Ewing sarcoma in the left femur. On biopsy the morphology was typical and there was an EWSR1-FLI1 gene fusion. He underwent neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and resection of the tumor. On microscopic evaluation, part of the tumor showed ganglioneuroblastoma-like differentiation with expression of neuronal markers. The continued presence of EWSR1 rearrangement in both the blue round cell component and the ganglioneuroblastoma-like component was shown by FISH analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, this case describes the possibility of a Ewing sarcoma to differentiate into a ganglioneuroblastoma-like lesion after neo-adjuvant chemotherapy treatment; the prognostic value of this phenomenon remains questionable.

柯昌庶 CK, 段秋红 QD, Yang H, et al.
Meningeal Ewing Sarcoma/Peripheral PNET: Clinicopathological, Immunohistochemical and FISH study of four cases.
Neuropathology. 2017; 37(1):35-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Meningeal Ewing Sarcoma (ES)/peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor (pPNET) is a rare diagnostically challenging small round cell tumor in the CNS. This study investigates the clinical pathological features of four cases of this tumor from archives of 6 years in our hospital. Patients were within the median age of 21.5 years and male to female ratio was 1:1. The tumors distributed at the supra-tentorial location, posterior fossa and lumbar vertebral canal, usually presenting as the dura-sited nodule or having close connection with the meninges within the cranium or vertebral canal. Histopathologically, small round undifferentiated tumor cells with hypercellularities, scant cytoplasm and inconspicuous nucleoli were observed, although some components such as atypical larger vesicular nuclei, prominent nucleoli of tumor cells, necrotic foci and mesenchymal collagen proliferation forming the lobular structure, were also appreciated. Immunohistochemally, tumor cells displayed membranous positivity of CD99 (4/4), nuclear positivity of FLI-1 (4/4) and NKX2.2 (4/4), negativity of EMA, GFAP and synaptophysin expression. The histochemical PAS staining showed weak positivity in one case. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test using EWSR1 (22q12) dual color break apart rearrangement probe showed positive results in two cases. Results suggest that using a panel of immunohistochemical markers, including NKX2.2, CD99, FLI-1, EMA, GFAP and synaptophysin, combined with the supplementary EWSR1 FISH test, helps to define the diagnosis of meningeal ES/pPNET of CNS.

Albergo JI, Gaston CL, Laitinen M, et al.
Ewing's sarcoma: only patients with 100% of necrosis after chemotherapy should be classified as having a good response.
Bone Joint J. 2016; 98-B(8):1138-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The purpose of this study was to review a large cohort of patients and further assess the correlation between the histological response to chemotherapy in patients with Ewing's sarcoma with the overall (OS) and event-free survival (EFS).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients treated for Ewing's sarcoma between 1980 and 2012 were reviewed. Of these, 293 patients without metastases at the time of diagnosis and treated with chemotherapy and surgery were included. Patients were grouped according to the percentage of necrosis after chemotherapy: Group I: 0% to 50%, Group II: 51% to 99% and Group III: 100%.
RESULTS: The mean age at diagnosis was 16 years (1 to 62) and the mean follow-up was 9.1 years (six months to 32.6 years). The OS and EFS for the series were 75% and 65% at five years. There were significant differences in survival between the groups of necrosis: 0% to 50% (OS: 49% and EFS: 45% at five years, respectively) compared with 51% to 99% (OS: 72% and EFS: 59% at five years, respectively) and 100% (OS: 94% and EFS: 81% at five years, respectively) (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in survival between patients treated between 1980 and 1989 compared with those treated between 1990 and 1999, and those treated between 2000 and 2012 (p = 0.55).
CONCLUSION: Only patients with 100% necrosis after chemotherapy should be classified as having a good response to chemotherapy because they have significantly better rates of survival compared with those with any viable tumour in the surgical specimen. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:1138-44.

Cesari M, Righi A, Cevolani L, et al.
Ewing sarcoma in patients over 40 years of age: a prospective analysis of 31 patients treated at a single institution.
Tumori. 2016; 102(5):481-487 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Patients with Ewing sarcoma who are 40 years old or older are usually excluded from clinical trials. For this reason, information on this subset of patients is limited.
METHODS: Clinical characteristics and treatment-related variables of patients aged 40 years or more, with a diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma, treated at the authors' institution had been prospectively collected since 1999.
RESULTS: Thirty-one patients were identified, with ages ranging from 40 to 70 years (median 45 years). Twenty-six (84%) had localized disease, 4 patients presented with lung metastases, and 1 patient had multiple metastases (bone, lung, abdominal nodes, and bone marrow). The primary tumors were skeletal in 19 (61%) patients, while 12 (39%) had extraskeletal disease. All patients received chemotherapy according to regimens similar to those adopted in younger patients, based on doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, vincristine, dactinomycin, and ifosfamide. All patients experienced grade 4 leukopenia (100%); red blood cells or platelets transfusions were needed in 50% and 16% of patients, respectively. Toxicity-related dose reduction was required in 13 patients (43%). The 5-year overall survival (OS) was 54% for the whole group. In patients with complete remission, 5-year disease-free survival was 57%. Survival was different for patients with skeletal and extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma (5-year OS: 64% vs 40%, p = 0.2).
CONCLUSIONS: In older patients, the incidence of extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma is high. Intensive chemotherapy treatment can be recommended in this group. The high chemotherapy toxicity can be justified by expected results, similar to those of younger patients.

Goedhart LM, Gerbers JG, Ploegmakers JJ, Jutte PC
Delay in Diagnosis and Its Effect on Clinical Outcome in High-grade Sarcoma of Bone: A Referral Oncological Centre Study.
Orthop Surg. 2016; 8(2):122-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate delay in diagnosis by both patients and doctors, and to evaluate its effect on outcomes of high-grade sarcoma of bone in a single-referral oncological center.
METHODS: Fifty-four patients with osteosarcoma, 29 with Ewing sarcoma and 19 with chondrosarcoma were enrolled in this retrospective study. Delay in diagnosis was defined as the period between initial clinical symptoms and histopathological diagnosis at our center. The delays were categorized as patient- or doctor-related. Short total delays were defined as <4 months; prolonged delays >4 months were assumed to have prognostic relevance.
RESULTS: Total delay in diagnosis was 688.0 days in patients with chondrosarcoma, which is significantly longer than the 163.3 days for osteosarcoma (P < 0.01) and 160.2 days for Ewing sarcoma (P < 0.01). Most doctor-related delays were at the pre-hospital stage, occurring at the general practitioner (GP)'s office. However, prolonged total delays (≥4 months) did not result in lower survival rates. Five-year-overall survival rates were 67.0% for osteosarcoma, 49.0% for Ewing sarcoma and 60.9% for chondrosarcoma. Survival was significantly lower for patients with metastatic disease for all three types of sarcoma.
CONCLUSION: Prolonged delay in diagnosis does not result in lower survival. Metastatic disease has a pronounced effect on survival. Aggressive tumor behavior results in shorter delays. Minimizing GP-related delays could be achieved by adopting a lower threshold for obtaining plain radiographs at the pre-hospital stage.

Ito M, Ishikawa M, Kitajima M, et al.
A case report of CIC-rearranged undifferentiated small round cell sarcoma in the cerebrum.
Diagn Cytopathol. 2016; 44(10):828-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
CIC-rearranged undifferentiated small round cell sarcoma (CIC-rearranged USRCS) is a recently established type of Ewing-like small round cell sarcomas, characterized by CIC gene rearrangement, most commonly CIC-DUX4 fusion. This report presents the second case of CIC-rearranged USRCS arising primarily in the cerebrum. A 64-year-old otherwise healthy woman presented with a 1 × 1 cm sized hemorrhagic subcortical tumor in the left temporo-parietal lobe. The tumor repeatedly recurred, and the patient underwent three surgeries, chemotherapy with doxorubicin and ifosfamide, and radiotherapy, as well as gamma knife surgery. Systemic examination revealed no other extracranial masses. Imprint cytology revealed small to moderate-sized round-to-ovoid tumor cells with mild pleomorphism and variations in size and shape. The nuclei contained finely granular chromatin, and some had easily-recognizable nucleoli. The tumor exhibited a mainly cytoplasmic pattern of CD99 immunostaining, rather than a diffuse membranous pattern. The tumor also exhibited diffuse positivity for calretinin and p16, as well as partial positivity for WT1 (nuclear and cytoplasmic staining pattern) and D2-40. FISH assessment showed CIC split signals. In conclusion, CIC-rearranged USRCSs can occur primarily in the cerebrum. It would be impossible to diagnose them through cytology alone, but cytology would be useful to rule out other small round cell brain tumors including gliomas, lymphomas, carcinomas, and germinoma. Immunohistochemical analysis including tests for CD99, calretinin, and WT1 would help to suggest CIC-rearranged USRCSs and distinguish them from Ewing sarcomas. Additionally, immunohistochemistry for p16 might be useful in the diagnosis. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2016;44:828-832. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Lee CY, Yen CC, Yen HJ, et al.
Outcomes of 50 Patients With Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors Treated at a Single Institution in Taiwan.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(22):e3830 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
To identify the prognostic factors and long-term outcome of the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT), data on 50 patients with ESFT treated at Taipei Veterans General Hospital between February 1991 and March 2014 were retrospectively considered. The influence of patient demographics, tumor features, and clinical and therapeutic parameters on overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were assessed. The results revealed that 21 of the 50 patients (42%) were metastatic at diagnosis. The median follow-up time was 1.8 years. The 5-year OS and PFS for patients who were nonmetastatic were 61.6% and 55.5%, respectively, and 18.8% and 15.4% for patients who were metastatic, respectively. The key adverse prognostic factor was metastasis at diagnosis. Radiotherapy for local control was associated with improved PFS. The high rate of primary metastasis and poorer outcomes of nonmetastatic ESFT compared with results from Western studies, along with previously reported low rates of ESFT in Taiwanese people, suggest that genetic factors play a role in the pathogenesis of ESFT and chemotherapy pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Radiotherapy in local treatment should be considered more aggressively in Taiwanese patients with ESFT.

Machado I, Navarro L, Pellin A, et al.
Defining Ewing and Ewing-like small round cell tumors (SRCT): The need for molecular techniques in their categorization and differential diagnosis. A study of 200 cases.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2016; 22:25-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Differentiation of Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) and Ewing-like tumors remains problematic. Certain ESFT with morphological and immunohistochemical (IHC) profiles lack the EWSR1-ETS transcript. To improve diagnostic accuracy we investigated the presence of several specific transcripts in 200 small round cell tumors (SRCT) displaying ESFT morphology and immunophenotype in which EWSR1 FISH analysis was non-informative or negative.
DESIGN: 200 tumors (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) were analyzed by RT-PCR. All tumors were tested for EWSR1-ETS, EWSR1/WT1, PAX3/7-FOX01 or SYT/SSX transcripts, and the negative tumors were subsequently analyzed for CIC/DUX4, BCOR/CCNB3 and CIC/FOX04 transcripts.
RESULTS: 133 (66.5%) ESFT displayed one of the above EWSR1-ETS translocations. Three cases (1.5%) revealed the SYT-SSX transcript for Synovial sarcoma, and one (0.5%) a EWSR1-WT1 transcript for Desmoplastic Small Round Cell tumor. The CIC-DUX4 translocation was found in six Ewing-like tumors (3%) with CD99 positivity. The BCOR-CCNB3 gene fusion was observed in 5 tumors (2.5%) displaying round or spindle cells with strong CCNB3 IHC expression in 3 tumors. Moreover, RT-PCR failed to detect any gene fusion transcripts in 19 tumors (9.5%) and were considered "undifferentiated small round cell sarcoma" (SRCS). Molecular biology results were non-informative in 33 SRCTs (16.5%) due to RNA degradation through inadequate fixation and/or decalcification.
CONCLUSION: Our analysis of 200 SRCTs confirms the molecular heterogeneity of neoplasms with ESFT morphology and highlight that molecular studies with RT-PCR including new emerging gene fusion transcripts are mandatory for the diagnosis when EWSR1 FISH is negative or non-informative. The incidence of CIC-DUX4, BCOR-CCNB3 and CIC-FOX04 transcripts was relatively low. A small group of Ewing-like sarcomas or undifferentiated SRCS remains unclassified. Adopting appropriate tissue fixation and processing protocols is important to avoid degradation of fixed/embedded tissue when no frozen tumor is available.

Maxwell AW, Wood S, Dupuy DE
Primary extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma of the stomach: a rare disease in an uncommon location.
Clin Imaging. 2016 Sep-Oct; 40(5):843-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report the case of a 63-year-old female undergoing evaluation of symptomatic anemia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and abdominal pain. After a thorough diagnostic workup, a large, ulcerated mass was identified in the patient's stomach, and surgical pathology in combination with molecular analysis yielded a diagnosis of primary extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma. In our report, we discuss the epidemiologic, clinicopathologic, and radiographic features of this rare disease and provide a review of the existing literature.

Parafioriti A, Bason C, Armiraglio E, et al.
Ewing's Sarcoma: An Analysis of miRNA Expression Profiles and Target Genes in Paraffin-Embedded Primary Tumor Tissue.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(5) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
The molecular mechanism responsible for Ewing's Sarcoma (ES) remains largely unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs able to regulate gene expression, are deregulated in tumors and may serve as a tool for diagnosis and prediction. However, the status of miRNAs in ES has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This study compared global miRNAs expression in paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples from 20 ES patients, affected by primary untreated tumors, with miRNAs expressed in normal human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) by microarray analysis. A miRTarBase database was used to identify the predicted target genes for differentially expressed miRNAs. The miRNAs microarray analysis revealed distinct patterns of miRNAs expression between ES samples and normal MSCs. 58 of the 954 analyzed miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in ES samples compared to MSCs. Moreover, the qRT-PCR analysis carried out on three selected miRNAs showed that miR-181b, miR-1915 and miR-1275 were significantly aberrantly regulated, confirming the microarray results. Bio-database analysis identified BCL-2 as a bona fide target gene of the miR-21, miR-181a, miR-181b, miR-29a, miR-29b, miR-497, miR-195, miR-let-7a, miR-34a and miR-1915. Using paraffin-embedded tissues from ES patients, this study has identified several potential target miRNAs and one gene that might be considered a novel critical biomarker for ES pathogenesis.

Hwang JP, Lim I, Kong CB, et al.
Prognostic Value of SUVmax Measured by Pretreatment Fluorine-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography in Patients with Ewing Sarcoma.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153281 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
AIM: The aim of this retrospective study was to determine whether glucose metabolism assessed by using Fluorine-18 (F-18) fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) provides prognostic information independent of established prognostic factors in patients with Ewing sarcoma.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 34 patients (men, 19; women, 15; mean age, 14.5 ± 9.7 years) with pathologically proven Ewing sarcoma. They had undergone F-18 FDG PET/CT as part of a pretreatment workup between September 2006 and April 2012. In this analysis, patients were classified by age, sex, initial location, size, and maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax). The relationship between FDG uptake and survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method with the log-rank test and Cox's proportional hazards regression model.
RESULTS: The median survival time for all 34 subjects was 999 days and the median SUV by using PET/CT was 5.8 (range, 2-18.1). Patients with a SUVmax ≤ 5.8 survived significantly longer than those with a SUVmax > 5.8 (median survival time, 1265 vs. 656 days; p = 0.002). Survival was also found to be significantly related to age (p = 0.024), size (p = 0.03), and initial tumor location (p = 0.036). Multivariate analysis revealed that a higher SUVmax (p = 0.003; confidence interval [CI], 3.63-508.26; hazard ratio [HR], 42.98), older age (p = 0.023; CI, 1.34-54.80; HR, 8.59), and higher stage (p = 0.03; CI, 1.21-43.95; HR, 7.3) were associated with worse overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: SUVmax measured by pretreatment F-18-FDG PET/CT can predict overall survival in patients with Ewing sarcoma.

Tan QT, Teo JY, Ahmed SS, Chung AY
A case of small bowel metastasis from spinal Ewing sarcoma causing intussusception in an adult female.
World J Surg Oncol. 2016; 14:109 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ewing sarcomas are highly aggressive malignant tumours occurring predominantly in the long bones of the extremities in children and young adults. About 20 % of patients will present with metastases at diagnosis with the commonest sites being the lungs, bone and bone marrow. Cases of primary small bowel Ewing sarcomas have been described but are nonetheless exceedingly rare, even more so cases of metastasis to the small bowel.
CASE PRESENTATION: We describe a case of vertebral Ewing sarcoma in a 44 year-old female which metastasized to the jejunum causing intussusception.
CONCLUSIONS: Ewing's sarcoma is highly aggressive and presence of metastases, overt or subclinical, is thought to be present in almost all patients at diagnosis. As evidenced by our patient, metastatic disease can progress rapidly to cause further complications and confer a poorer survival. The possibility of metastasis, no matter how rare or unlikely the site is, should be considered and actively investigated to expedite treatment of the primary disease.

Zhang N, Liu H, Yue G, et al.
Molecular Heterogeneity of Ewing Sarcoma as Detected by Ion Torrent Sequencing.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153546 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is the second most common malignant bone and soft tissue tumor in children and adolescents. Despite advances in comprehensive treatment, patients with ES metastases still suffer poor outcomes, thus, emphasizing the need for detailed genetic profiles of ES patients to identify suitable molecular biomarkers for improved prognosis and development of effective and targeted therapies. In this study, the next generation sequencing Ion AmpliSeq™ Cancer Hotspot Panel v2 was used to identify cancer-related gene mutations in the tissue samples from 20 ES patients. This platform targeted 207 amplicons of 2800 loci in 50 cancer-related genes. Among the 20 tissue specimens, 62 nonsynonymous hotspot mutations were identified in 26 cancer-related genes, revealing the molecular heterogeneity of ES. Among these, five novel mutations in cancer-related genes (KDR, STK11, MLH1, KRAS, and PTPN11) were detected in ES, and these mutations were confirmed with traditional Sanger sequencing. ES patients with KDR, STK11, and MLH1 mutations had higher Ki-67 proliferation indices than the ES patients lacking such mutations. Notably, more than half of the ES patients harbored one or two possible 'druggable' mutations that have been previously linked to a clinical cancer treatment option. Our results provided the foundation to not only elucidate possible mechanisms involved in ES pathogenesis but also indicated the utility of Ion Torrent sequencing as a sensitive and cost-effective tool to screen key oncogenes and tumor suppressors in order to develop personalized therapy for ES patients.

Bailey M, Mccabe M, Pal P, et al.
Cervical epidural extra-osseous Ewing sarcoma mimicking an epidural abscess.
Br J Neurosurg. 2016; 30(1):113-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a case of a 21-year-old woman presenting with quadriplegia which was initially diagnosed with an epidural abscess in view of her MR scan and raised inflammatory marker levels. Histology revealed an epidural extra-osseous Ewing's sarcoma (EES). Epidural location of EES is a very rare condition which can be very challenging to diagnose. Early diagnosis and surgical excision followed by chemotherapy represent the main stem of management.

Town J, Pais H, Harrison S, et al.
Exploring the surfaceome of Ewing sarcoma identifies a new and unique therapeutic target.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(13):3603-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
The cell surface proteome of tumors mediates the interface between the transformed cells and the general microenvironment, including interactions with stromal cells in the tumor niche and immune cells such as T cells. In addition, the cell surface proteome of individual cancers defines biomarkers for that tumor type and potential proteins that can be the target of antibody-mediated therapy. We have used next-generation deep RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) coupled to an in-house database of genes encoding cell surface proteins (herein referred to as the surfaceome) as a tool to define a cell surface proteome of Ewing sarcoma compared with progenitor mesenchymal stem cells. This subtractive RNA-seq analysis revealed a specific surfaceome of Ewing and showed unexpectedly that the leucine-rich repeat and Ig domain protein 1 (LINGO1) is expressed in over 90% of Ewing sarcoma tumors, but not expressed in any other somatic tissue apart from the brain. We found that the LINGO1 protein acts as a gateway protein internalizing into the tumor cells when engaged by antibody and can carry antibody conjugated with drugs to kill Ewing sarcoma cells. Therefore, LINGO1 is a new, unique, and specific biomarker and drug target for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma.

Werier J, Yao X, Caudrelier JM, et al.
A systematic review of optimal treatment strategies for localized Ewing's sarcoma of bone after neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
Surg Oncol. 2016; 25(1):16-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To perform a systematic review to investigate the optimal treatment strategy among the options of surgery alone, radiotherapy (RT) alone, and the combination of RT plus surgery in the management of localized Ewing's sarcoma of bone following neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
METHODS: MEDLINE and EMBASE (1999 to February 2015), the Cochrane Library, and relevant conferences were searched.
RESULTS: Two systematic reviews and eight full texts met the pre-planned study selection criteria. When RT was compared with surgery, a meta-analysis combining two papers showed that surgery resulted in a higher event-free survival (EFS) than RT in any location (HR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.12-2.00; p = 0.007). However another paper did not find a statistically significant difference in patients with pelvic disease, and no papers identified a significant difference in overall survival. When surgery plus RT was compared with surgery alone, a meta-analysis did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference for EFS between the two groups (HR = 1.21, 95% CI 0.90-1.63). Both surgical morbidities and radiation toxicities were reported.
CONCLUSIONS: The existing evidence is based on very low aggregate quality as assessed by the GRADE approach. In patients with localized Ewing's sarcoma, either surgery alone (if complete surgical excision with clear margin can be achieved) or RT alone may be a reasonable treatment option. The optimal local treatment for an individual patient should be decided through consideration of patient characteristics, the potential benefit and harm of the treatment options, and patient preference.

Ren C, Ren T, Yang K, et al.
Inhibition of SOX2 induces cell apoptosis and G1/S arrest in Ewing's sarcoma through the PI3K/Akt pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2018 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ewing's sarcoma is an aggressive bone and soft tissue tumor with a high incidence in children and adolescents. Due to its high malignancy and poor prognosis, identification of novel biomarkers for intervention therapies is necessary to improve outcome. The EWS/FLI1 fusion gene is a characteristic of Ewing's sarcoma in most cases. Sex determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2) is a primary target of EWS/FLI1. It has been identified as an oncogene and linked to apoptotic resistance in several types of cancer. However, its role and regulatory mechanisms in Ewing's sarcoma are largely unknown.
METHODS: We systematically investigated the role of SOX2 in Ewing's sarcoma cell lines, human tissue samples and xenograft models. The expression of SOX2 was detected in Ewing's sarcoma samples by WB and IHC. siRNAs were used to knockdown EWS/FLI1 and SOX2 in A673 and RD-ES cell lines with the efficiencies tested by qRT-PCR and WB. The effect of SOX2 on cell cycle and apoptosis was determined by Flow cytometric and TUNEL assays. Akt overexpression was performed with plasmid. The protein expression of the corresponding factors was examined by WB analysis. Inhibition of SOX2 in vivo was performed by siRNA against SOX2 in xenograft models, and the protein expression of the regulators testified in vitro was examined in xenograft tumors by IHC and WB.
RESULTS: The results confirmed that SOX2 was highly expressed in Ewing's sarcoma and was the target of EWS/FLI1. SOX2 advanced Ewing's sarcoma cell survival and proliferation by regulating p21, p27 and cyclin-E to facilitate G1/S phase transition and mediating caspase-3, PARP via both extrinsic (Fas and caspase-8) and intrinsic (caspase-9, Bad, Bcl-2 and XIAP) apoptotic pathways to restrain cell apoptosis. Additionally, SOX2 regulated the cell-cycle progression and apoptosis via activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. The mechanisms were proved both in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate that SOX2 played a central role in promoting Ewing's sarcoma cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo with the underlying mechanisms expounded. These findings suggest that SOX2 may serve as a potential biomarker for targeted intervention in Ewing's sarcoma.

Giner J, Isla A, Cubedo R, Tejerina E
Primary Epidural Lumbar Ewing Sarcoma: Case Report and Review of the Literature.
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016; 41(6):E375-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
STUDY DESIGN: Case report.
OBJECTIVE: We present a case of isolated primary epidural lumbar Ewing sarcoma and review the current literature on the standard management. We also propose laminoplasty as safe procedure in this patient population that can provide good stabilization in young people.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Primary epidural Ewing's sarcoma is a very rare entity. The best generally accepted treatment option in sarcomas is to achieve a gross total resection with safe margins followed by local radiotherapy and chemotherapy. A total resection with safe margins is a great challenge in neurosurgical patients.
METHODS: We present a previously healthy 17-year-old girl who complained of right sciatica with an epidural lumbar mass at L3-L4. She underwent complete resection of the tumor and a laminoplasty, which, in our experience, is a good way to preserve stability.
RESULTS: At surgery, an isolated and noninvasive lesion was identified. Histopathological confirmation of Ewing sarcoma was obtained by immunohistochemical study and EWSR1 gene rearrangement detection. Treatment with 6 months of chemotherapy resulted in no further identifiable lesions by PET and MRI imaging at 4 years postsurgery. The laminoplasty has remained stable.
CONCLUSION: Primary epidural Ewing sarcoma is extremely rare. The detection of the EWSR1 gene rearrangement can help to diagnose these tumors. The decision on how to treat these patients is difficult and can hardly be based on data from the current literature because of the small number of patients. The laminoplasty procedure can be safely performed in the setting of sarcoma of the epidural space.

Caropreso V, Darvishi E, Turbyville TJ, et al.
Englerin A Inhibits EWS-FLI1 DNA Binding in Ewing Sarcoma Cells.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(19):10058-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/05/2017 Related Publications
High-throughput screening of extracts from plants, marine, and micro-organisms led to the identification of the extract from the plant Phyllanthus engleri as the most potent inhibitor of EWS-FLI1 induced luciferase reporter expression. Testing of compounds isolated from this extract in turn led to the identification of Englerin A (EA) as the active constituent of the extract. EA induced both necrosis and apoptosis in Ewing cells subsequent to a G2M accumulation of cells in the cell cycle. It also impacted clonogenic survival and anchorage-independent proliferation while also decreasing the proportion of chemotherapy-resistant cells identified by high ALDH activity. EA also caused a sustained increase in cytosolic calcium levels. EA appears to exert its effect on Ewing cells through a decrease in phosphorylation of EWS-FLI1 and its ability to bind DNA. This effect is mediated, at least in part, through a decrease in the levels of the calcium-dependent protein kinase PKC-βI after a transient up-regulation.

Celli R, Cai G
Ewing Sarcoma/Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor of the Kidney: A Rare and Lethal Entity.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(3):281-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor represents a spectrum of undifferentiated tumors with similar biology that together represent the second most common sarcoma in the pediatric-young adult age range. Very rarely, this tumor presents as a primary neoplasm of the kidney. The clinical presentation of this tumor is not specific, and other renal tumors may present with a similar histologic appearance. Establishing the correct diagnosis is critical because renal Ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor carries a strikingly dismal prognosis and thus dictates a specific treatment strategy. A low threshold for the use of ancillary molecular tests is recommended, particularly in diagnostically problematic cases. Important considerations with regards to morphology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular alterations will be reviewed here and should be taken into account before rendering this rare and lethal diagnosis.

Akagunduz OO, Kamer SA, Kececi B, et al.
The role of radiotherapy in local control of nonextremity Ewing sarcomas.
Tumori. 2016 Mar-Apr; 102(2):162-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the results of radiotherapy and the prognostic factors affecting local control in nonextremity Ewing sarcomas.
METHODS: Between 1995 and 2011, 44 patients with nonextremity Ewing sarcomas were treated with radiotherapy. Tumor localizations were pelvis in 23, spine in 13, thoracic region in 5, and cranium in 3 patients. Tumor size was ≥8 cm in 56.8% of patients. Distant metastases were present in 19 of the patients at the time of diagnosis (43.1%). All patients were treated with 12 weeks of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery and radiotherapy (45-54 Gy) or radiotherapy alone (54-64.8 Gy). Radiotherapy was applied due to microscopic residue (R1) in 5 patients after the operation and macroscopic tumor in 39 patients (macroscopic residue [R2] and nonresectable tumor).
RESULTS: Median follow-up was 49 months (range 9-195). Local failures developed in 7 patients (15.9%) and local control at 5 years was 81.4%. Local recurrence was detected in 6 patients (6/38) who did not have residual tumor after RT. Progression was detected in 1 patient (1/6) who had residual tumor. All those patients with local failure experienced further distant metastases. Possible prognostic factors such as age (≤17 vs >17), tumor localization, tumor volume (≤8 cm vs >8 cm), and M status at diagnosis (0 vs 1) were not related to local control.
CONCLUSIONS: Radiotherapy, either alone or adjuvant to surgery, provides local control in 80% of nonextremity Ewing sarcomas and plays an important role in treatment.

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