Current Treatment Options in Oncology

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 461-471

First online:

The Potential for molecular therapeutic targets in Ewing’s sarcoma

  • Nancy R. McAllister
  • , Stephen L. LessnickAffiliated withHuntsman Cancer Institute

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Opinion statement

Ewing’s sarcoma is an uncompromising tumor of children and young adults. Before the introduction of chemotherapy for Ewing’s sarcoma, nearly all patients succumbed to their disease, even with highly aggressive approaches to local control. The realization that most patients have micrometastatic disease at presentation, and the identification of active chemotherapeutic agents for this tumor, have resulted in significant improvements in patient survival. Modern therapy for Ewing’s sarcoma combines highdose chemotherapy for systemic control of disease, with advanced surgical and/or radiation therapeutic approaches for local control. Current therapy remains imperfect. Despite optimal management, the cure rate for localized disease is only approximately 70%, whereas the cure rate for metastatic disease at presentation is less than 30%. Patients who experience long-term disease-free survival are at risk for significant side effects of therapy, including infertility, limb dysfunction, and an increased risk for second malignancies. More effective and less toxic therapies are needed. This report presents an overview of dysregulated molecular pathways in Ewing’s sarcoma and highlights the possibility that they may serve as therapeutic targets for the disease. Although a great deal of additional investigation is required before most of these approaches can be assessed in the clinic, we think that these potential new targets offer a great deal of hope for patients with Ewing’s sarcoma.