• Ewing sarcoma;
  • granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF);
  • granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR);
  • angiogenesis;
  • vasculogenesis



Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a highly vascular malignancy. It has been demonstrated that both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis contribute to the growth of ES tumors. Granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), a cytokine known to stimulate bone marrow (BM) stem cell production and angiogenesis, is routinely administered to ES patients after chemotherapy. Whether ES cells and patient tumor samples express G-CSF and its receptor (G-CSFR) and whether treatment with this factor enhances tumor growth was examined.


Human ES cell lines were analyzed for expression of G-CSF and G-CSFR in vitro and in vivo. Sixty-eight paraffin-embedded and 15 frozen tumor specimens from patients with ES were also evaluated for the presence of G-CSF and G-CSFR. The in vivo effect of G-CSF on angiogenesis and BM cell migration was determined. Using a TC/7-1 human ES mouse model, the effect of G-CSF administration on ES tumors was investigated.


G-CSF and G-CSFR protein and RNA expression was identified in all ES cell lines and patient samples analyzed. In addition, G-CSF was found to stimulate angiogenesis and BM cell migration in vivo. Tumor growth was found to be significantly increased in mice treated with G-CSF. The average tumor volume for the group treated with G-CSF was 1218 mm3 compared with 577 mm3 for the control group (P = .006).


The findings that ES cells and patient tumors expressed both G-CSF and its receptor in vitro and in vivo and that the administration of G-CSF promoted tumor growth in vivo suggest that the potential consequences of G-CSF administration should be investigated further. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.