Radiotherapy is Associated With Improved Survival in Patients With Synovial Sarcoma Undergoing Surgery: A National Cancer Database Analysis

Alicia A. Gingrich, Angelica S. Marrufo, Yu Liu, Chin-Shang Li, Morgan Darrow, Arta M Monjazeb, Steven W. Thorpe, Robert J. Canter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated an association of perioperative radiotherapy (RT) with improved survival in patients with synovial sarcoma (SS) undergoing surgery, but the mechanism for this is unknown. In this study, we sought to further analyze this association using a hospital-based data set where data on chemotherapy administration and surgical margin status are available. Methods: Using the National Cancer Database, we identified 1216 patients with SS (aged ≥18 y) from 2004-2012 undergoing surgery. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to study the effect of clinicopathologic variables on overall survival (OS). Results: Mean age at diagnosis was 41.5 y (range 18-90), and 71.3% of tumors were high grade; 22.9% underwent surgery alone, 59.6% received RT with surgery, 44.2% received chemotherapy with surgery, and 26.3% received trimodality therapy. Age, sex, grade, Charlson-Deyo score, and RT (hazard ratio, 0.676; 95% confidence interval, 0.519-0.880; P = 0.004) were associated with improved OS, whereas chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 0.899-1.60; P = 0.217) and surgical margin status were not. Trimodality therapy with surgery, RT, and chemotherapy was associated with improved OS when compared with therapy with surgery and chemotherapy alone. Conclusions: In patients with SS undergoing surgery, we observed a significant improved association of OS with the addition of RT when adjusting for comorbidity score, margin status, and receipt of chemotherapy. These data further support routine implementation of RT in the treatment of patients with SS, including those receiving aggressive multimodality and trimodality care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-387
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Chemotherapy
  • NCDB
  • Radiotherapy
  • SEER
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Surgery
  • Synovial sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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