Recent cloning of the chromosome breakpoint regions of the reciprocal chromosomal t(11;22) (q24;q12) has revealed that the breakpoints were localized within the EWS gene (Ewings sarcoma gene) on chromosome 22 and the FLI-1 gene on chromosome 11. Thus, molecular genetic techniques were applicable for the detection of this genetic aberration, which occurs as a consistent feature of the Ewings tumor family. By reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction technique (RT-PCR) in 78% of Ewings sarcoma derived cell lines, and in 91% of primary Ewings tumor tissue t(11;22) specific EWS/FLI-1 fusion transcripts were detected. Furthermore, in bone marrow samples from an Ewings sarcoma patient contaminating tumor cells could be shown by RT-PCR. Our results indicate that molecular genetic detection of the t(11;22) translocation opens a new modality for the differential diagnosis and the staging of Ewings tumor patients.