Ewing’s sarcoma is a type of bone tumor that occurs in children and adolescents named after the American pathologist James Ewing (1866-1943). It occurs most often in the large bones of the arms and legs and the flat bones of the pelvis, spine and ribs. The tumor is caused by a translocation chromosome abnormality that occurs by chance in a single cell which divides to form the malignant cells.
Ewing’s sarcoma is the second most common type of bone tumor (after osteosarcoma) in children and adolescents. The disease tends to occur between ages 10 and 20 and almost always before age 30. It may metastasize (spread) to bones, the lungs or the bone marrow. Treatment is chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The tumor is typically radiosensitive meaning it responds to radiation therapy. Sometimes surgery is done to remove the original tumor or to remove metastases from the lungs. The overall chance of long-term survival with Ewing’s sarcoma is about 60%. Survival is about 75% for patients with localized tumor (particularly if the tumor is located below the elbow or the midcalf) and about 25-30% with tumor that has spread.