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Ann Oncol. 2005 Mar;16(3):437-44. Epub 2005 Jan 14.

Prognostic factors in advanced synovial sarcoma: an analysis of 104 patients treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

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  • 1Sarcoma Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.



Key prognostic factors at diagnosis of synovial sarcoma are well defined from the literature. There are few data regarding prognostic parameters in the setting of advanced disease. Our aim was to look specifically at a cohort of patients with advanced synovial sarcoma and to identify potential prognostic factors.


One hundred and four patients with advanced synovial sarcoma were identified from the Royal Marsden Hospital's sarcoma database between 1978 and 2003. Patient data were analysed retrospectively. Most patients were aged between 20 and 50 years at diagnosis. Seventy-one patients were deceased at the time of analysis. Ninety-two patients received chemotherapy for management of advanced disease (most commonly doxorubicin + ifosfamide).


Median survival following development of advanced disease was 22 months. Predictors of survival with advanced disease were age <35 years (P = 0.03) and response to first-line chemotherapy (P = 0.05). The response rate to doxorubicin plus ifosfamide was 58.6%, and this was superior to either agent when given singly. Metastasectomy was not associated with improved prognosis in this series.


Synovial sarcoma is a chemosensitive soft tissue sarcoma. Compared with historical controls, survival with advanced disease seems to have improved over the years, possibly as a result of better use of chemotherapy. Age <35 years and response to first-line chemotherapy predict for improved survival with advanced disease.

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