Establishment and characterization of NCC-SS4-C1: a novel patient-derived cell line of synovial sarcoma

Hum Cell. 2021 May;34(3):998-1007. doi: 10.1007/s13577-021-00509-z. Epub 2021 Feb 20.


Synovial sarcoma (SS) is defined as a monomorphic blue spindle cell sarcoma showing variable epithelial differentiation, and is characterized by a specific fusion gene, SS18-SSX. Although SS is rare, it accounts for approximately 8% of all soft tissue sarcomas, which occupies a significant proportion of soft tissue tumors. The prognosis of SS is unfavorable, with 5-year survival rate of 50-60%, and only a few anti-cancer agents are recommended for its treatment. Thus, we need to urgently establish novel treatment methods. Patient-derived cell lines are essential tools in basic research and pre-clinical studies. However, there are only 4 publicly available SS cell lines. Therefore, we established a novel SS cell line, NCC-SS4-C1, using surgically resected tumor tissues of a patient with SS. The cell line maintained the characteristic fusion gene, SS18-SSX1, and copy number alteration, in concordance with the original tumor. The cells also exhibited moderate cell proliferation, invasion ability, and spheroid formation ability. Moreover, a drug-screening test using 4 SS cell lines, including NCC-SS4-C1, demonstrated the significant anti-proliferative effects of ALK and HDAC inhibitors. Thus, we concluded that the NCC-SS4-C1 cell line is a useful tool for basic and pre-clinical studies of SS.

Keywords: Drug screening; Patient-derived cancer model; Patient-derived cell line; Sarcoma; Synovial sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Gene Fusion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / genetics*
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / pathology*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Spheroids, Cellular / pathology
  • Thigh


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SS18 protein, human
  • synovial sarcoma X breakpoint proteins