Patients with advanced synovial sarcoma demonstrate significantly better response to systemic chemotherapy, progression-free survival, and overall survival than other patients with soft tissue sarcomas, a study published in the European Journal of Cancer has shown.1

Previous studies in patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcomas suggested that those with synovial sarcomas tended to have improved survival rates and higher chemosensitivity than other subtypes; however, sample sizes were relatively small and statistical significance was lacking.

Therefore, researchers sought to retrospectively compare response, progression-free survival, and overall survival rates among soft tissue sarcoma subtypes in a large cohort of patients.

Continue Reading

For the study, investigators analyzed data from 3330 patients with advanced soft tissue sarcomas who participated in 15 European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer advanced first-line soft tissue sarcoma trials. Of those, 313 had a synovial sarcoma.

Researchers found that patients with synovial sarcomas were significantly younger, more likely to have extremity primary tumors, and had a better performance status compared with other patients with soft tissue sarcomas.

Results also showed that patients with synovial sarcomas had a 27.8% response rate to chemotherapy vs 18.8% of those with other subtypes. Patients with synovial sarcomas also had better survival rates. Median progression-free survival was 6.3 months among those with synovial sarcoma compared with 3.7 months for other subtypes. Median overall survival was 15.0 months and 11.7 months, respectively.

RELATED: Radiotherapy Treatment Linked With Better Survival in Soft-tissue Sarcoma

In terms of prognostic factors, the investigators determined that performance status and presence of metastatic disease were associated with improved progression-free and overall survival among patients with synovial sarcoma.

The findings ultimately suggest that specific studies evaluating treatments in patients with synovial sarcoma should be designed.


  1. Vlenterie M, Litière S, Rizzo E, et al. Outcome of chemotherapy in advanced synovial sarcoma patients: review of 15 clinical trials from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group; setting a new landmark for studies in this entity. Eur J Cancer. 2016;58:62-72.