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Ann Surg. 2007 Jul;246(1):105-13.

Chemotherapy is associated with improved survival in adult patients with primary extremity synovial sarcoma.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



To determine if ifosfamide-based chemotherapy (IF) offers a survival benefit to adult patients with primary extremity synovial sarcoma.


Prospectively collected patient data from 2 institutions was used to identify all adult patients (>or=16 years) with >or=5 cm, deep, primary, extremity, synovial sarcoma that underwent surgical treatment of cure from 1990 to 2002. A total of 101 patients were identified and the median follow-up for survivors was 58 months. Clinical, pathologic, and treatment variables were analyzed for disease-specific survival (DSS), distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS), and local recurrence-free survival (LRFS).


Sixty-eight (67%) patients were treated with IF and 33 (33%) patients received no chemotherapy (NoC) for the primary tumor. The characteristics of the IF-treated patients [median tumor size = 7.2 cm; monophasic n = 46 (68%)] were similar to NoC patients [median tumor size = 7 cm; monophasic n = 23 (70%)]. The 4-year DSS of the IF-treated patients was 88% compared with 67% for the NoC patients (P = 0.01). Smaller size (HR = 0.3 per 5-cm decrease, P < 0.0001) and treatment with IF (HR = 0.3 compared with NoC, P = 0.007) were independently associated with an improved DSS. Treatment with IF was independently associated with an improved DRFS (HR = 0.4, P = 0.03) but not associated with an improved LRFS (P = 0.39).


Ifosfamide-based chemotherapy was associated with an improved DSS in adult patients with high-risk, primary, extremity, synovial sarcoma and should be considered in the treatment of such patients.

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