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Am J Clin Pathol. 1999 Jul;112(1):43-9.

Absence of SYT-SSX fusion products in soft tissue tumors other than synovial sarcoma.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, CA 94305, USA.


The chromosomal translocation t(X;18), which generates SYT-SSX1 and SYT-SSX2 fusion products, is a sensitive marker for synovial sarcoma; most synovial sarcomas test positive for this marker. However, few studies have addressed the presence of t(X;18) or its fusion products in spindle cell sarcomas in the differential diagnosis of synovial sarcoma. We studied the presence of the SYT-SSX fusion products with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction on frozen tissue samples of 24 synovial sarcomas and 24 other spindle cell sarcomas, including 12 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. In cases histopathologically diagnosed as synovial sarcoma, SYT-SSX fusion products were detected in 21 of 24 (87%) lesions. No evidence of these fusions was found in 12 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, 2 hemangiopericytomas, 3 leiomyosarcomas, 2 fibrosarcomas, 1 poorly differentiated sarcoma (malignant fibrous histiocytoma), 1 sarcoma with rhabdoid features, and 2 sarcomas not otherwise specified. One lesion with histologic, immunohistologic, and ultrastructural features indeterminate for a diagnosis of synovial sarcoma or malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor was studied and was positive for SYT-SSX1. The SYT-SSX fusion products appear specific for synovial sarcoma and are not seen in other spindle cell lesions in its differential diagnosis.

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