A consecutive series of 38 patients with synovial sarcoma diagnosed and treated in a consistent fashion from 1976 to 1994 was reviewed for prognostic variables. The histologic specimens were reviewed and confirmed by one pathologist. There was a minimum 4-year followup for all surviving patients and no patients were lost to followup. The treatment protocol consisted of surgical excision with a wide or radical margin and limb preservation when possible. In those patients in whom the surgical margin was undefined or was less than a wide margin, perioperative radiation therapy was used. Four patients presented with metastatic disease and all died of their disease. Thirty-four patients had localized disease at presentation. Variables considered in stratifying outcomes included histologic grade, histologic subtype, surgical margin, presence or absence of local recurrence, age, and size of tumor. Of the 34 patients without metastasis there was a strong statistical association between size of tumor and survival: 17 patients with tumors less than 5 cm in diameter had a 100% survival, 12 patients with tumors 5 cm to 10 cm had a 75% survival, and five patients with tumors greater than 10 cm had a 20% survival. The authors urge that a multicenter trial for neoadjuvant chemotherapy be initiated for patients presenting with a synovial sarcoma greater than 10 cm in diameter.