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Synovial sarcomas are uncommon malignancies that mainly affect adolescents and young adults. Most arise from the deep soft tissues of the extremities, but they can occur in other parts of the body such as the lung. Synovial sarcomas after radiation therapy are rare, in contrast with other sarcomas, with only six reported cases. Secondary malignancies after radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy are also uncommon, with the most consistent evidence for hematologic malignancies. We present what we believe to be the first report of a synovial sarcoma of the lung with an SS18/SSX1 translocation after RAI therapy. At age 20, the patient developed papillary thyroid cancer and later had two surgically confirmed recurrences. Over the course of her care, she received a total of about 220 mCi of RAI. At age 34, as part of an evaluation for another suspected recurrence, she had a position emission spectroscopy-computed tomography scan, and a pulmonary mass was detected. Although not previously reported, this case suggests that synovial sarcomas may be a secondary malignancy after RAI therapy. The latency in this case is reasonable, the dose to the lungs was small, but in the range where radiation-related malignancy may occur, and the somatic chromosomal rearrangement could be a radiation effect.


Avni Vora, Arthur B Schneider. Synovial sarcoma of the lung in a patient who received radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association. 2013 Mar;23(3):371-5

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PMID: 23205908

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