Ewing sarcoma treatment usually begins with chemotherapy. Surgery to remove the cancer usually follows. Other treatments, including radiation therapy, might be used in certain situations.
Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatment usually combines two or more drugs that can be administered as an infusion into a vein (IV), in pill form, or through both methods.
Treatment for Ewing sarcoma usually begins with chemotherapy. The drugs may shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove the cancer with surgery or target with radiation therapy.
After surgery or radiation therapy, chemotherapy treatments might continue in order to kill any cancer cells that might remain.
For advanced cancer that spreads to other areas of the body, chemotherapy might help relieve pain and slow the growth of the cancer.
The goal of surgery is to remove all of the cancer cells. But planning the operation also takes into consideration how it will affect your ability to go about your daily life.
Surgery for Ewing sarcoma may involve removing a small portion of bone or removing an entire limb. Whether surgeons can remove all of the cancer without removing the entire limb depends on several factors, such as the size and location of the tumor and whether it shrinks after chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells.
During radiation therapy, the beams of energy are delivered from a machine that moves around you as you lie on a table. The beams are carefully directed to the area of the Ewing sarcoma in order to reduce the risk of damage to surrounding healthy cells.
Radiation therapy might be recommended after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain. It can also be used instead of surgery if the Ewing sarcoma is located in a part of the body where surgery is not possible or would result in unacceptable functional outcomes (such as loss of bowel or bladder function).
For advanced Ewing sarcomas, radiation therapy can slow the growth of the cancer and help relieve pain.