Clear cell sarcoma: The Roswell Park experience



Background and Objectives:

Clear cell sarcoma of the tendons and aponeuroses (CCSTA) is an aggressive, rare soft-tissue tumor with approximately 300 reported cases. Although it appears to be histogenetically related to melanoma, its clinical behavior resembles soft tissue sarcoma with a propensity for lymph node metastases. We report our experience at a tertiary cancer center.


Eight cases of CCSTA evaluated at Roswell Park Cancer Institute between 1970 and 1998 were reviewed retrospectively. Patient data analyzed included patient age, gender, anatomic location, size of tumor, development of local, regional and distant recurrence, and patient status at last follow up.


Six of eight patients were alive at 2 years, while three of seven patients were alive at 5 years. Of the patients alive with no evidence of recurrence, two had tumors of less than 2 cm, and the remaining patient had incomplete information regarding tumor size. Five patients recurred within 2 years of definitive surgical management. Four had tumors > 5 cm. All five patients progressed to metastatic disease at a median follow up of 20 months (range 1–108 months) following definitive surgical management and all eventually died of their disease at a median of 3 months (range 0–24 months) from presentation with metastatic disease. Four of five patients with lesions > 5 cm received adjuvant chemotherapy with intent to cure, but all eventually died of disease at 4, 22, 34, and 41 months from initial presentation.


CCSTA is an aggressive tumor of the soft tissues. Early recognition and management are associated with an excellent long-term prognosis. Tumors greater than 5 cm warrant aggressive surgical management and treatment, and are at high risk of the development of distant disease. Aggressive multiagent chemotherapy appeared to have no impact on outcome. Other adjuvant therapeutic options including immunotherapy should be investigated. J. Surg. Oncol. 2001; 77:16–20. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.