Adults with Ewing's sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor: Adverse effect of older age and primary extraosseous disease on outcome

Elizabeth H. Baldini, George D. Demetri, Christopher D.M. Fletcher, James Foran, Karen C. Marcus, Samuel Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess outcome and prognostic factors for survival of adults with Ewing's sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). Background: Ewing's sarcoma/PNET is a disease of childhood rarely seen in adults. Accordingly, there is a relative paucity of published literature pertaining to outcome for adults with this disease. Methods: Between 1979 and 1996, 37 patients with newly diagnosed Ewing's sarcoma/PNET were evaluated and treated at the Adult Sarcoma Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Twenty-six patients had localized disease at presentation and 11 had metastatic disease. All but two patients received multiagent chemotherapy. Local treatment consisted of surgery (7 patients), surgery and radiation therapy (19), radiation therapy (6), or no local treatment (5). Median follow-up for living patients was 100 months (range 8 to 199). Results: The 5-year survival rate for the group overall was 37% ± 9%. The 5-year local control rate was 85% ± 7%. Significant favorable predictors for survival on univariate analysis included localized disease at presentation, primary origin in bone, primary size <8 cm, and a favorable objective response to chemotherapy. Patients with localized disease had a 5- year survival rate of 49% ± 11% compared with 0% for those with metastatic disease at presentation. Multivariate analysis showed three significant independent predictors for death: metastatic disease at presentation, primary origin in extraosseous tissue versus bone, and age 26 years or older. Conclusion: Adult patients with Ewing's sarcoma/PNET at highest risk for death are those who are older than 26 years and have metastatic disease or an extraosseous primary tumor. The development of novel therapies should target these high-risk groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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