Prognostic significance of histologic grade and nuclear expression of beta-catenin in synovial sarcoma

Hum Pathol. 2001 Mar;32(3):257-63. doi: 10.1053/hupa.2001.22764.


Synovial sarcoma, which has a wide spectrum of biologic behavior, warrants accurate grading to assess the patient's prognosis. We studied the clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical features of 44 cases of synovial sarcoma in patients treated primarily or secondarily at the National Cancer Center, Tokyo, to identify independent prognostic factors. There were local recurrences in 16 patients (36%), and 25 (57%) developed metastases, primarily to the lungs. The estimated cumulative 5-year and 10-year survival rates were 68% and 41%, respectively. Variables associated with an adverse outcome included tumor size > 6.7 cm; initial treatment outside the National Cancer Center; poorly differentiated subtype; high nuclear atypia; mitosis count > 27/10 high-power fields; tumor necrosis; absence of stromal calcification; nuclear expression of beta-catenin, which was found in 25 cases (57%); Ki-67 (MIB-1) index > 27%; and histologic grade 3. Nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin as a cell-signaling event may play an important role in the progression of synovial sarcoma and therefore might be predictive of short survival. However, multivariate analysis clearly showed that only histologic grade, as defined by using categorized variables for the MIB-1 index and tumor necrosis, was an independent prognostic factor. Most variables were correlated with lung metastasis and histologic grade. High-grade synovial sarcoma assessed by a histologic grading system based on the proliferative activity of the neoplastic cells can be viewed as high risk with the patients most likely to die of disease within 10 years after surgery and in need of improved chemotherapy. HUM PATHOL 32:257-263.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry*
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Child
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitosis
  • Necrosis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / mortality
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / surgery
  • Survival Rate
  • Trans-Activators*
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Trans-Activators
  • beta Catenin