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Sarcoma
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 780129, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/780129
Review Article

Assessment of Minimal Residual Disease in Ewing Sarcoma

1Division of Pediatric Oncology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
2Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
3Division of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA

Received 15 August 2011; Accepted 27 October 2011

Academic Editor: R. Pollock

Copyright © 2012 Lars M. Wagner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Advances in molecular pathology now allow for identification of rare tumor cells in cancer patients. Identification of this minimal residual disease is particularly relevant for Ewing sarcoma, given the potential for recurrence even after complete remission is achieved. Using RT-PCR to detect specific tumor-associated fusion transcripts, otherwise occult tumor cells are found in blood or bone marrow in 20–30% of Ewing sarcoma patients, and their presence is associated with inferior outcomes. Although RT-PCR has excellent sensitivity and specificity for identifying tumor cells, technical challenges may limit its widespread applicability. The use of flow cytometry to identify tumor-specific antigens is a recently described method that may circumvent these difficulties. In this manuscript, we compare the advantages and drawbacks of these approaches, present data on a third method using fluorescent in situ hybridization, and discuss issues affecting the further development of these strategies.