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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Synovial sarcoma

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Synovial sarcoma is a rare and aggressive soft tissue sarcoma. In the early stages of the condition, it may cause no noticeable signs or symptoms. However, as the tumor grows larger, affected people may notice a lump or swelling. In some cases, the tumor can limit range of motion or cause numbness and/or pain if it presses on nearby nerves. Although synovial sarcoma does not have a clearly defined cause, genetic factors are believed to influence the development of this disease. Cells in these tumors are usually characterized by the presence of a translocation involving chromosomes X and 18. This translocation is specific to synovial sarcoma and is often used to diagnose the condition. Treatment generally includes a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 9/10/2015


  1. Bernardo Vargas, MD. Synovial Cell Sarcoma. Medscape Reference. November 2014;
  2. Christopher W Ryan, MD; Janelle Meyer, MD. Clinical presentation, histopathology, diagnostic evaluation, and staging of soft tissue sarcoma. UpToDate. January 2015; Accessed 9/9/2015.
  3. Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment. National Cancer Institute. April 2015;
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Basic Information

  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute has an webpage on this disorder with information on symptoms and diagnosis, treatment, and long-term outlook,
  • The Mayo Clinic Web site provides further information on Synovial sarcoma.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Synovial sarcoma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.