Synovial sarcoma: a clinicopathologic, staging, and prognostic assessment

A J Spillane, R A'Hern, I R Judson, C Fisher, J M Thomas
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2000 November 15, 18 (22): 3794-803

PURPOSE: Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a common soft tissue sarcoma (STS) with a propensity for young adults and notable sensitivity to chemotherapy (CT). This study provides a current clinicopathologic, staging, and prognostic assessment for SS. The problems with the current American Joint Committee for Cancer (AJCC) Staging System in relation to SS are discussed.

METHODS: Review of a prospective database supplemented by retrospective data.

RESULTS: One hundred fifty patients were assessed; median age was 30 years and median follow-up was 52 months. Overall actuarial 5-year survival rate was 57%. Size trend, but not a cutoff of less than 5 cm versus > or = 5 cm, was a prognostic indicator (P <.001). The current AJCC/International Union Against Cancer Staging System differentiated prognosis less well than the recently proposed Royal Marsden Hospital Staging System. Age greater than 20 years at diagnosis implied worse prognosis. A local recurrence event was associated with a worse survival (P <.001). Therapeutic CT was administered to 55 patients. Eleven of 19 patients had an objective response to a combination of ifosfamide and doxorubicin. Four cases had complete response after CT. Twenty-one patients had pulmonary metastasectomy, with an actuarial 5-year survival rate of 23%.

CONCLUSION: SS tends to affect young people. In this subtype of STS, size trend is the most significant influence on stage and hence survival; however, smaller SSs have an unexpectedly poor prognosis. Adequate local control may affect survival. SS is often chemosensitive, and given its poor prognosis, multicenter trials of adjuvant therapy are warranted.

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