The Solid Tumor Team at the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia includes a multidisciplinary team of highly experienced and compassionate professionals who will provide expert management of your child’s Ewing sarcoma. Many of our oncologists are also actively involved in researching and developing new therapies to treat this type of cancer.
Ewing's sarcoma is a family of bone tumors that includes:
In 1921, Dr. James Ewing described a bone tumor that was different from the more common osteosarcoma. The major difference was that it could be treated with radiation. At first the tumor was thought only to be found in bone, but it was later learned that the same type of tumor was also found in soft tissues; this form was named extraosseous (outside bone) Ewing (EOE).
In the 1990s it became clear that Ewing's sarcoma, EOE, PNET and Askin's tumor are all actually the same disease, with identical molecular and biological properties.
Ewing's sarcoma most frequently occurs in teenagers, though it also occurs in infants and middle-aged adults. It is found slightly more often in males than females. The legs are most commonly affected. The next most common sites are the pelvic bones, spine and ribs.
Pain and swelling are the most frequent symptoms.
Ewing’s sarcoma diagnostic tools include:
Before the development of chemotherapy, almost all patients with Ewing sarcoma died from having the tumor spread throughout their bodies, even though the primary (original) tumor was treated with surgery or radiation therapy. That is why today we use chemotherapy (anti-cancer medicines that reach cancer cells anywhere in the body). It is still important to treat the primary tumor with surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination. The entire treatment process takes about seven months.
Surgical oncology specialists at CHOP are equipped to perform complex, limb-sparing surgeries for children with cancers like Ewing's sarcoma. CHOP surgeons are constantly pushing the envelope to improve upon existing surgical techniques, and improve outcomes for patients with even the most difficult-to-treat tumors. Learn more about limb-sparing surgery in the video below.
Most patients with Ewing's sarcoma are cured of their cancers, and lead more normal lives. Some children treated for Ewing's sarcoma develop complications years later. All survivors benefit from making healthy life choices, and having information available about their cancer and its treatment.Our Cancer Survivorship Program provides this information, and has ways of monitoring and treating late effects should they occur.
Reviewed by: Richard Womer, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Date: November 2009
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