Sarcomas are rare types of cancer that develop in the supporting tissues of the body.
There are two main types: Bone Sarcomas and Soft Tissue Sarcomas.
Ewing’s sarcoma is a bone cancer (although it can also very rarely develop in the soft tissue) and is the second most common primary sarcoma that can develop in children, comprising 10-15% of childhood bone cancers.
Ewing’s sarcoma is not very common in younger children; it occurs mostly in the teenage years and is slightly more prevalent in boys.
The Ewing’s family of tumours:
- Ewing’s sarcoma of bone
- Extraosseous Ewing’s – a tumour outside of the bone
- Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour (PNET)
- Askin’s Tumour (PNET of the chest wall).
Ewing’s sarcoma occurs most commonly in the ribs, pelvis, chest, long bones of the legs and arms, skull, and vertebral column (spine). Extraosseous Ewing Sarcoma appears in the soft tissue of the arms, legs, trunk, head, neck, abdominal cavity, or other areas.
Tumours of the elderly, such as breast cancer and colon cancer, accumulate thousands of DNA mutations. These genetic defects contribute to cancer-specific properties including uncontrolled growth, invasion in neighbouring tissues, and evasion from the immune system.
Similar properties are also found in Childhood Cancers, although those tumours carry much fewer genetic defects, making it difficult to explain their clinical heterogeneity.
This is particularly true for Ewing Sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer in children and adolescents.
A single genetic defect – the EWS-ETS fusion – is present in all tumours, initiating cancer development and defining Ewing sarcoma as a disease, but the tumours carry very few DNA mutations that could explain the observed differences in the disease course of Ewing sarcoma patients.
Tackling this question, a team of scientists from Austria, France, Germany and Spain led by Eleni Tomazou from the St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute in Vienna profiled many Ewing Tumours. They found that the disease’s clinical diversity is reflected by widespread epigenetic heterogeneity.
Losing a child is not natural; it is the absolute worst thing that can happen to any parent, and the heartache that follows is devastating. No parent is prepared for a child’s death, even if they have anticipated it during their child’s illness.
Parents are intimately involved in the daily lives of their children, and death changes every aspect of family life, leaving an enormous emptiness. In addition to grieving the loss of their child, parents may find that they also grieve the loss of the hopes and dreams they had for their child, as well as the potential that will never be realised and the experiences they will never share. The pain of these losses will always be a part of a parent who has lost a child.
Losing a child leaves a hole in a parent’s heart that will never heal; the death of a child is Out of Order – it has violated nature’s way… and can result in a variety of emotions.
Although I did not know Austin personally, I, like every other Team LFCT member and many others, have followed his progress narrowly since the day he became a Little Fighter, and the one thing that struck me was the positivity and grace with which Austin handled his cancer.
I was looking back through his FaceBook Page earlier and could not help but smile…
Austin was a charmer; his positivity literally shone out of the page on every photo… A Charming, Gentle, Smiling, Brave Warrior.
Every post on his page by his family is positive, even if the news was not that great, and it is because of this that I ask you all to join us not in mourning his death but in celebrating this gentle young warrior’s life… Read the rest of this entry
This past weekend has yet again been a weekend when the tears did not stop amongst the Little Fighters Cancer Trust team.
It is always heartbreaking to lose a Little Fighter, but to lose two in two days is devastating…
This weekend two of our Little Fighters lost their battle against Cancer.