Synovial sarcomas (SS) represent a unique subset of soft tissue sarcomas (STS) and account for 5-10% of all STS. Synovial sarcoma differs from other STS by the relatively young age at diagnosis and clinical presentation. Synovial sarcomas have unique genomic characteristics and are driven by a pathognomonic t(X;18) chromosomal translocation and subsequent formation of the SS18:SSX fusion oncogenes. Similar to other STS, diagnosis can be obtained from a combination of history, physical examination, magnetic resonance imaging, biopsy and subsequent pathology, immunohistochemistry and molecular analysis. Increasing size, age and tumor grade have been demonstrated to be negative predictive factors for both local disease recurrence and metastasis. Wide surgical excision remains the standard of care for definitive treatment with adjuvant radiation utilized for larger and deeper lesions. There remains controversy surrounding the role of chemotherapy in the treatment of SS and there appears to be survival benefit in certain populations. As the understanding of the molecular and immunologic characteristics of SS evolve, several potential systematic therapies have been proposed.
Keywords: clinical review; current concepts; soft tissue sarcoma; synovial sarcoma.