Synovial Sarcoma Lucy VanGieson July 29, 2004 by kky13476


									Synovial Sarcoma

Lucy VanGieson
 July 29, 2004
      What is Synovial Sarcoma?

   This is a rare and aggressive soft tissue
    malignant tumor that begins near joints in
    the body.
   Synovial sarcomas are found in tendons,
    bursae (fluid-filled, cushioning sacs
    located in the spaces between tendons,
    ligaments and bones), and in the hollow
    areas that separates the bones of a joint.
               Tumor Sites
   These tumors occur mainly in the legs and
    arms where they tend to arise near large
    joints, especially around the knee.
   The most common location of origin of
    Synovial sarcomas are in the thigh near
    the knee.
   Rarely this cancer will form in the head
    and neck or in the trunk.
             Who is Affected?

   Synovial sarcomas occur more frequently
    in older adolescents and young adults,
    although it can present itself at any age.
   It is reported that the mean age of
    patients is 30 years.
   Synovial sarcomas affect slightly more
    men than women.
   Synovial sarcomas account for
    approximately 10% of all human
    malignant sarcomas.
   30% of all reported cases manifest
    themselves during the first two decades of
   Approximately 800 new cases occur per
    year in the United States.
                Risk Factors

   There are no known risk factors for
    developing this form of cancer.
   The most common symptom experienced is a
    swelling or mass that may be accompanied by
    pain or tenderness.
   In a few cases it has been noted that pain or
    tenderness was present for several years even
    though a mass could not be felt.
   Limping or difficulty using legs, arms, hands or
    feet have been reported.

   The exact etiology of Synovial sarcomas is
   What is known is that many Synovial
    sarcoma cells are characterized by a
    chromosomal translocation that fuses the
    SYT gene from chromosome 18 to either
    the SSX1 or the SSX2 gene.
           Etiology Continued

   The fusion proteins SYT-SSX1 and SYT-
    SSX2 are believed to function as abnormal
    transcriptional regulators that result in
    either activation of proto-oncogenes or
    inhibition of tumor suppressor genes.
           Diagnostic Methods
   The most effective way to diagnose this
    cancer is by having a tissue biopsy.
   A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is
    very useful in determining the extent to
    which the cancer has grown.
   Lastly, about one-third of Synovial
    sarcomas have been diagnosed using a
    Computed Tomography (CT) Scan.

   Synovial sarcomas may be treated by
    using the following medical approaches…
       Surgery
       Radiation
       Chemotherapy

   Complete surgical excision of the tumor,
    nearby muscle and lymph nodes is the
    best way of treating this cancer.
   Depending on the location and size of the
    tumor, it may be necessary to remove all
    or part of a limb.
   Radiation is often used in conjunction with
    surgery to kill cancer cells.
   It can be given before surgery in order to
    shrink a tumor or afterwards to kill any
    remaining cancer cells.
   On rare occasions radiation alone has
    been used for treatment of the primary

   Chemotherapy has been proven highly
    effective with treating this form of cancer
    and it may be administered in one of the
    following ways…
       As a pill to swallow
       As an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
       Intravenously is the most common form of
        delivery for chemotherapy drugs.
   Synovial sarcoma has a survival rate of
    approximately 50% at five years.
   When chemotherapy and radiation have been
    used as adjuvant therapy the survival rate
    increases to 73% at five years.
   Recurrence of the disease has been reported up
    to ten years following treatment and the survival
    rate significantly drops to less than 25%.
   Although the occurrence of Synovial sarcomas
    are rare they can be locally aggressive and
    should be treated promptly.
   Once a patient has been diagnosed they must
    have continuous follow-up care for the rest of
    their lives.
   Patients with Synovial sarcoma are encouraged
    to join clinical trials since little is known about
    this cancer.

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