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Detection of the (11;22)(q24;q12) translocation of Ewing's sarcoma and peripheral neuroectodermal tumor by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

  • J. R. Downing
  • D. R. Head
  • D. M. Parham
  • E. C. Douglass
  • M. G. Hulshof
  • M. P. Link
  • T. A. Motroni
  • H. E. Grier
  • A. M. Curcio-Brint
  • D. N. Shapiro
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1993
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Ewing's sarcoma and the related primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) share a unique and specific t(11;22)(q24;q12) chromosomal translocation. The breakpoints have recently been cloned and shown to involve the EWS gene on chromosome 22 and the FLI-1 gene on chromosome 11. Translocation results in the fusion of these genes on the der(22) chromosome, resulting in the production of a novel chimeric EWS/FLI-1 message. Using oligonucleotide primers derived from EWS and FLI-1 complementary DNAs, we were able to amplify a specific fusion transcript from 18 of 18 cases containing t(11;22) and 10 of 14 cases of Ewing's sarcoma/PNET that had unsuccessful cytogenetics. No EWS/FLI-1 fusion transcripts were detected in five cell lines derived from cases of pediatric sarcomas having a histological diagnosis other than Ewing's sarcoma/PNET. The sensitivity and specificity of this PCR analysis demonstrates the usefulness of this approach for the primary diagnosis of t(11;22)-containing Ewing's sarcoma/PNET and for the detection of metastatic or residual disease.

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