Synovial sarcoma (SS) is an aggressive malignancy which accounts for approximately 5⁻10% of all soft-tissue sarcomas. SS has pathologic and genomic characteristics that define it as a distinct subtype of soft tissue sarcoma (STS). STS subtypes continue to be recognized as distinct entities with specific characteristics, including differential chemo-sensitivity. The objective of this study was to conduct a descriptive review of current data on survival outcomes of systemic anti-cancer therapy specific to SS. A systematic literature review was conducted, using a custom search strategy to search EMBASE, Medline and CENTRAL for clinical trials and observational studies reporting overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and/or response for cohorts of at least 50 SS patients. We identified 28 studies meeting these criteria, 25 of which were retrospective studies. Only three prospective studies were identified. Survival reports varied widely between studies based on the population, in particular on the disease stage, and reporting was heterogeneous in terms of the time points reported on. For patients with localized disease, reports of five-year PFS ranged from 26% to 80.7% and five-year OS from 40% to 90.7%, whereas five-year OS for patients with metastatic disease was very low at around 10%; and in one case, 0% was reported. Only four of the included publications reported outcomes by type of systemic anti-cancer therapy received. Our study draws attention to the fact that additional prospective studies to better define the most appropriate treatment for SS in all stages and lines of therapy are still needed.
Keywords: chemotherapy; survival; synovial sarcoma; systematic review; systemic anti-cancer therapy.