Clear cell sarcoma is a rare translocation-related sarcoma. There have been few studies documenting the response rate and progression-free survival in clear cell sarcoma patients treated with palliative chemotherapy. The prospectively maintained databases of two referral centres were searched to identify clear cell sarcoma patients treated with chemotherapy. Twenty-four patients were treated with palliative first-line chemotherapy with a median age of 30 years at diagnosis. There were 18 men and 6 women. One (4%) achieved a partial response and 9 (38%) had stable disease. Fourteen patients (58%) progressed on therapy. The median progression-free survival was 11 weeks (95% CI, 3–20 weeks). The median overall survival from commencing first-line chemotherapy was 39 weeks (95% CI, 34–45 weeks). Second-line chemotherapy was administered to 12 patients, 11 (92%) of these progressed and one (8%) had stable disease. Of the 5 patients treated with third-line chemotherapy, 4 (80%) progressed and one (20%) had stable disease. One patient received fourth-line chemotherapy and maintained stable disease for 4 months. Conventional chemotherapy has minimal activity in clear cell sarcoma as documented by the response rate of 4% and median progression-free survival of 11 weeks in this retrospective series. These data provide a reference for response and outcome in the assessment of novel agents in this histological subtype.