What is synovial sarcoma?

Synovial sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that grows in the soft tissues, most often around the joints or muscles. It often starts in the foot, arm, leg, ankle, neck or wrist, but it can also grow in other areas.

What are the signs and symptoms of synovial sarcoma?

Your child may not have any symptoms of synovial sarcoma until the tumor is quite large. The symptoms can vary, depending on where the tumor is located, but may include:

  • A painless lump in the arm, foot, leg, ankle, wrist or neck
  • Nerve pain or numbness if the tumor is pushing against a nerve

What causes synovial sarcoma?

Experts do not know exactly what causes synovial sarcoma in children. However, these tumors often have a genetic mutation in their cells.

How is synovial sarcoma treated?

Treatment options for synovial sarcoma depend on whether it has spread in the body. Your care team at Arkansas Children’s are experienced in treating synovial sarcoma and we’ll work with your family to come up with the best treatment plan for your child. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery is often the first step in treatment. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells or stop the cancer from growing. The radiation is directed at the specific part of the body where the cancer is growing. It may be used before or after surgery to help destroy the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy is often given to help kill the cancer cells. The chemotherapy may be taken by mouth or injected into the bloodstream. It can be used alone or with other treatments of the cancer has spread.
  • Clinical trials test new types of cancer treatments. Ask your Arkansas Children’s care team if your child is eligible for any clinical trials to treat synovial sarcoma.

Make an appointment