Establishment and characterization of NCC-SS4-C1: a novel patient-derived cell line of synovial sarcoma


Synovial sarcoma (SS) is defined as a monomorphic blue spindle cell sarcoma showing variable epithelial differentiation, and is characterized by a specific fusion gene, SS18-SSX. Although SS is rare, it accounts for approximately 8% of all soft tissue sarcomas, which occupies a significant proportion of soft tissue tumors. The prognosis of SS is unfavorable, with 5-year survival rate of 50–60%, and only a few anti-cancer agents are recommended for its treatment. Thus, we need to urgently establish novel treatment methods. Patient-derived cell lines are essential tools in basic research and pre-clinical studies. However, there are only 4 publicly available SS cell lines. Therefore, we established a novel SS cell line, NCC-SS4-C1, using surgically resected tumor tissues of a patient with SS. The cell line maintained the characteristic fusion gene, SS18-SSX1, and copy number alteration, in concordance with the original tumor. The cells also exhibited moderate cell proliferation, invasion ability, and spheroid formation ability. Moreover, a drug-screening test using 4 SS cell lines, including NCC-SS4-C1, demonstrated the significant anti-proliferative effects of ALK and HDAC inhibitors. Thus, we concluded that the NCC-SS4-C1 cell line is a useful tool for basic and pre-clinical studies of SS.

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We thank Drs. F Nakatani, E Kobayashi, S Fukushima, M Nakagawa, T Komatsubara, M Saito, C Sato (Department of Musculoskeletal Oncology), Drs. T Shibayama, and H Tanaka (Department of Diagnostic Pathology), National Cancer Center Hospital, for sampling tumor tissue specimens from surgically resected materials. We also appreciate the technical assistance provided by Ms. Y Kuwata (Division of Rare Cancer Research). We appreciate the technical support provided by Ms. Y Shiotani, Mr. N Uchiya, and Dr. T Imai (Central Animal Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute). We would also like to thank Editage ( for their help with English language editing and their constructive comments on the manuscript. This research was technically assisted by the Fundamental Innovative Oncology Core at the National Cancer Center.


This research was supported by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (Grant Number 20ck0106537h0001).

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Correspondence to Tadashi Kondo.

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This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the ethics committee of the National Cancer Center (Approval Number 2004-050).

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Tsuchiya, R., Yoshimatsu, Y., Noguchi, R. et al. Establishment and characterization of NCC-SS4-C1: a novel patient-derived cell line of synovial sarcoma. Human Cell (2021).

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  • Sarcoma
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Patient-derived cancer model
  • Patient-derived cell line
  • Drug screening