Ewing sarcoma is a rare cancer of bones or soft tissue, mainly in children and young adults

Ewing Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones. It primarily affects children and young adults, with the majority of cases diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 10 and 20. The incidence rate in the United States is approximately 1 case per million people per year.

Ewing sarcoma does not have a clearly defined cause
Ewing sarcoma does not have a clearly defined cause


Ewing sarcoma does not have a clearly defined cause. However, research suggests that several factors may contribute to the development of this disease. These include:

  1. Genetic Mutations: it is characterized by specific genetic changes, most commonly an abnormal translocation of chromosomes. This translocation fuses together parts of two genes, which can lead to uncontrolled cell growth and the development of cancer.
  2. Family History: Having a family history of Ewing sarcoma or other bone cancers may increase the risk of developing the disease. However, the risk is still relatively low, as most cases of Ewing sarcoma are not inherited.
  3. Age and Sex: Ewing sarcoma primarily affects children and young adults, with the majority of cases occurring between the ages of 10 and 20. Additionally, the disease is slightly more common in males than in females.
  4. Ethnicity: For unknown reasons, Ewing sarcoma is more common in Caucasian children and young adults than in those of other ethnic backgrounds.
  5. Other Factors: Some studies suggest that exposure to certain environmental factors, such as radiation or certain chemicals, may increase the risk of developing Ewing sarcoma. However, these links are still being researched, and more evidence is needed to confirm these connections.


Ewing sarcoma is a type of bone cancer that typically presents with several clinical symptoms, which may vary depending on the location and size of the tumor. Common symptoms include:

  1. Bone Pain: The most frequent symptom is persistent or worsening pain at the site of the tumor. The pain may be intermittent or constant and can become more intense with physical activity or at night.
  2. Swelling and Tenderness: A noticeable lump or swelling may develop near the tumor site, which can be tender to the touch.
  3. Fever: Some individuals with Ewing sarcoma may experience fever, which can be low-grade or periodic.
  4. Weight Loss: Unintentional weight loss may occur due to the cancer’s impact on metabolism and appetite.
  5. Fatigue: Generalized fatigue or weakness can be a result of the body’s effort to fight the cancer.
  6. Joint Stiffness: If the tumor is near a joint, it can cause stiffness and limited range of motion.
  7. Pathological Fracture: The tumor can weaken the bone, making it more prone to breaking (pathological fracture) with minimal trauma.
  8. Other Systemic Symptoms: Less commonly, Ewing sarcoma can lead to systemic symptoms such as anemia, increased blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia), or a condition called leukocytosis, which is an elevated white blood cell count.

The cure rate for Ewing sarcoma

The cure rate for Ewing sarcoma can vary widely depending on several factors, including the stage of the cancer at diagnosis, the size and location of the tumor, the response to treatment, and the individual’s overall health. Ewing sarcoma is a rare and aggressive cancer, and while it can be challenging to treat, significant progress has been made in recent decades.

Overall, the five-year survival rate for localized Ewing sarcoma (disease that has not spread to other parts of the body) is estimated to be between 70% and 80%. However, if the cancer has already spread to the lungs or other organs at the time of diagnosis, the five-year survival rate may be lower, around 30% to 40%.

These statistics are based on large groups of people and do not predict what will happen to an individual patient. Survival rates are improving as treatments evolve, and some patients may have better outcomes than these averages suggest.

Despite the challenges, Ewing sarcoma is a disease that can be managed, and many patients go on to lead long and healthy lives after treatment. Ongoing research and clinical trials are aimed at improving outcomes and finding new treatments for Ewing sarcoma.


The optimal treatment plan for Ewing sarcoma depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, its location, the size of the tumor, and the patient’s age and overall health. Treatment is typically multimodal, involving a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Here is an overview of the components of treatment:

The optimal treatment plan for Ewing sarcoma
The optimal treatment plan
  1. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells and is a key part of treatment for Ewing sarcoma. It is often used to shrink the tumor before surgery and to kill any cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body.
  2. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. It may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  3. Surgery: Surgery may be performed to remove the tumor, especially if it has not spread to other parts of the body. The goal of surgery is to remove all visible cancer cells. In some cases, limb-sparing surgery can be performed to avoid amputation.
  4. Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. For Ewing sarcoma, targeted therapies such as mTOR inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies may be used.
  5. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a relatively new approach that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Some clinical trials are exploring the use of immunotherapy for Ewing sarcoma.The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) conducted a preclinical study on cell immunotherapy for Ewing Sarcoma, aiming to explore methods of using the patient’s own immune system to combat the tumor.The research team developed chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T cells) that specifically recognize Ewing Sarcoma cells and validated their efficacy under laboratory conditions.In mouse models, CAR-T cell therapy significantly reduced the growth of Ewing Sarcoma tumors and extended the survival of the mice.The research results indicate that CAR-T cell therapy could become an effective treatment for Ewing Sarcoma, with further clinical trials being prepared.
  6. Stem Cell Transplant (Bone Marrow Transplant): In some cases, a stem cell transplant may be recommended, particularly for patients with a high risk of recurrence. This involves harvesting stem cells from the patient or a donor, then infusing them into the patient after high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Because Ewing sarcoma is rare and treatment options are evolving, participation in clinical trials may provide access to the most advanced treatments available. It is important for patients and their families to discuss all potential treatment options, as well as the risks and benefits of each, with their healthcare providers.

why adolescents are more likely to develop Ewing sarcoma?

The reason why adolescents are more likely to develop Ewing sarcoma is not fully understood, but there are several theories that scientists use to explain this pattern:

why adolescents are more likely to develop Ewing sarcoma
  1. Growth Spurts: Adolescence is a period of rapid growth, during which bones are growing and changing. The cells that line the bones, where Ewing sarcoma originates, are more active during growth spurts. This increased activity may make these cells more susceptible to the genetic mutations that lead to the development of Ewing sarcoma.
  2. Genetic Factors: Ewing sarcoma is associated with specific genetic changes, most commonly a translocation of chromosomes that results in the fusion of genes. These genetic mutations are more likely to occur during periods of active bone growth, such as adolescence.
  3. Immune System Development: The immune system plays a critical role in recognizing and destroying cancer cells. During adolescence, the immune system is still maturing, and this maturation process may affect its ability to control the growth of cancer cells.
  4. Exposure to Growth Hormones: Growth hormones, which are abundant during adolescence, can stimulate cell growth. If a cell has a cancer-causing mutation, the growth hormones may help those cells divide and grow more quickly, potentially leading to the development of a tumor.
  5. Environmental and Lifestyle Factors: Adolescents may be exposed to certain environmental or lifestyle factors that could contribute to the development of Ewing sarcoma, although the exact nature of these factors is still unknown.

While these theories provide some insight into why adolescents may be more prone to Ewing sarcoma, the exact cause of the disease remains unclear. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of Ewing sarcoma, with the hope of improving prevention, early detection, and treatment strategies.

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