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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Jan;62(1):12-5. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25212. Epub 2014 Aug 30.

Utility of bone marrow aspiration and biopsy in initial staging of Ewing sarcoma.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.



The current standard of care for initial staging of pediatric Ewing sarcoma (EWS) patients is to obtain a bilateral bone marrow aspiration and biopsy (BMAB). The incidence of bone marrow (BM) disease in patients deemed non-metastatic by conventional and metabolic imaging and the concordance of BM positivity with other clinical characteristics are not well established.


This study is a multi-institutional retrospective review of newly diagnosed EWS patients less than 40 years of age with initial staging that included imaging and BMAB.


A total of 116 patients were eligible with 85 patients considered non-metastatic and 31 considered metastatic by imaging. None of the 85 patients with non-metastatic disease were BMAB positive (0%; 95% CI: 0-4.2%); 13 of the 31 patients with metastases were BMAB positive (41.9%; 95% CI: 24.5-60.9%). Primary tumor size was significantly higher in patients with metastases (P = 0.017). Bone metastasis by imaging had high correlation with BMAB positivity (P = 0.0002). In addition, the number of bony metastatic sites was significantly higher in patients with a positive BMAB as compared to those with a negative BMAB (median 3.5 and 0.0, respectively; P < 0.001).


BMAB may not be required for initial staging of pediatric and young adult EWS patients deemed non-metastatic by imaging. In patients with metastatic disease, there is a high correlation of BM involvement with multiple bone metastases.


Ewing sarcoma; bone marrow aspiration; bone marrow biopsy; bone scan; pediatrics; staging

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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