DIAGNOSTIC MARKER AND THERAPEUTIC TARGET FOR EWING’S SARCOMA

Ewing’s Sarcoma is an aggressive and highly metastatic bone or soft tissue associated tumor in children and young adults. These tumors frequently progress undetected until they metastasize, whereupon the mortality of the disease greatly increases. Identifying Ewing’s tumors typically involves detection of CD99 and EWS/FLI expression that have limited sensitivity and specificity.

Gene ontology (GO) analysis and subsequent studies in tumor tissues has verified NKX2.2 gene or protein expression as an important contributor to
the neural characteristics of the tumor. The invention describes a quantitative approach to measuring NKX2.2 expression as a sensitive approach to diagnosing Ewing’s tumors. Additional biology studies have shown that blocking NKX2.2 expression causes Ewing’s Sarcoma cells to lose their oncogenic phenotype, which suggests additional therapeutic applications.