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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Ewing's sarcoma

Other Names for this Disease
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Ewing tumor
  • Ewing's tumor
  • Sarcoma, Ewing's
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Your Question

What causes Ewing's sarcoma? Is it inherited? If a child is affected, are his or her siblings at risk to develop it as well?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is Ewing's sarcoma?

Ewing's sarcoma is a malignant (cancerous) bone tumor that affects children. It can occur any time during childhood and young adulthood, but usually develops during puberty, when bones are growing rapidly. The tumor may arise anywhere in the body, usually in the long bones of the arms and legs, the pelvis, or the chest. It may also develop in the skull or the flat bones of the trunk. There are few symptoms. The most common is pain and occasionally swelling at the site of the tumor. Fever may also be present. The tumor often spreads (metastasis) to the lungs and other bones.[1] The cause of Ewing's sarcoma is unknown.[2]
Last updated: 6/4/2009

What causes Ewing's sarcoma?

Although most tumors in Ewing's sarcoma can be traced back to translocations between chromosomes 11 and 22, the cause for this condition remains largely unknown.[2][3][4]
Last updated: 6/4/2009

Is Ewing's sarcoma an inherited condition?

Most cases of Ewing's sarcoma are thought to be sporadic. However, the incidence of neuroectodermal and stomach malignancies is increased among family members of patients with tumors of the Ewing sarcoma family.[3]

A search of the medical literature did identify a very small number of cases of Ewing's sarcoma among siblings. To access articles on this topic, click here.
Last updated: 6/4/2009