Neo/adjuvant chemotherapy does not improve outcome in resected primary synovial sarcoma: a study of the French Sarcoma Group

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BackgroundThere are only scarce data about the benefit of adjunctive chemotherapy in patients with localized synovial sarcoma (SS).Patients and methodsData from 237 SS patients recorded in the database of the French Sarcoma Group were retrospectively analyzed. The respective impact of radiotherapy, neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy on overall survival (OS), local recurrence-free survival (LRFS) and distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS) were assessed after adjustment to prognostic factors.ResultsThe median follow-up was 58 months (range 1–321). Adjuvant, neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and postoperative radiotherapy were administered in 112, 45 and 181 cases, respectively. In all, 59% of patients treated with chemotherapy received an ifosfamide-containing regimen. The 5-year OS, LRFS and DRFS rates were 64.0%, 70% and 57%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, age >35 years old, grade 3 and not-R0 margins were highly significant independent predictors of worse OS. After adjustment to prognostic factors, radiotherapy significantly improved LRFS but not DRFS or OS. Neither neo-adjuvant nor adjuvant chemotherapy had significant impact on OS, LRFS or DRFS.ConclusionAs for other high-grade soft-tissue sarcomas, well-planned wide surgical excision with adjuvant radiotherapy remains the cornerstone of treatment for SS. Neo-adjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy should not be delivered outside a clinical trial setting.

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