Predictors of Recurrence and Patterns of Initial Failure in Localized Ewing Sarcoma: A Contemporary 20-Year Experience

Gregory C. Stachelek, John A. Ligon, Jennifer Vogel, Adam S. Levin, Nicolas J. Llosa, Brian H. Ladle, Christian F. Meyer, Stephanie A. Terezakis, Carol D. Morris, Matthew M. Ladra, Christine A. Pratilas

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5 Scopus citations


Background: The majority of patients with localized Ewing sarcoma will remain disease-free long term, but for those who suffer recurrence, successful treatment remains a challenge. Identification of clinicopathologic factors predictive of recurrence could suggest areas for treatment optimization. We sought to describe our experience regarding predictors of recurrence and patterns of first failure in patients receiving modern systemic therapy for nonmetastatic Ewing sarcoma.

Methods: The medical records of pediatric and adult patients treated for localized Ewing sarcoma between 1999 and 2019 at Johns Hopkins Hospital were retrospectively analyzed. Local control was surgery, radiotherapy, or both. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariable and multivariable Cox proportional-hazards modeling was performed to obtain hazard ratios (HR) for recurrence.

Results: In 94 patients with initially localized disease, there were 21 recurrences: 4 local, 14 distant, and 3 combined. 5-year and 10-year RFS were 75.6% and 70.5%, respectively. On multivariable analysis including age at diagnosis and tumor size, <95% tumor necrosis following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC; HR 14.3, p  = 0.028) and radiological tumor size change during NAC (HR 1.04 per 1% decrease in size change, p  = 0.032) were independent predictors of recurrence. Among patients experiencing distant recurrence, pulmonary metastases were present in 82% and were the only identifiable site of disease in 53%.

Conclusions: Poor pathologic or radiologic response to NAC is predictive of recurrence in patients with localized Ewing sarcoma. Suboptimal tumor size reduction following chemotherapy provides a means to risk-stratify patients who do not undergo definitive resection. Isolated pulmonary recurrence was a common event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6681741
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Gregory C. Stachelek et al.


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