Medline: 3721307

Gynecologic Oncology 24(3): 343-358, 1986.

Prognostic variables in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva.

Shimm DS, Fuller AF, Orlow EL, et al.


Records of 98 patients undergoing surgery for squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva between 1960 and 1982 were analyzed to evaluate and develop treatment policy. There were 32, 34, 26, and 6 patients in FIGO stages I-IV, respectively. Eighty-six patients underwent radical vulvectomy, 8 patients underwent less extensive procedures, and 4 underwent more extensive procedures. Eighty-seven patients underwent inguinal node dissection, and 40 underwent pelvic node dissection as well. Eight patients received external beam irradiation. Actuarial 5-year survival was 57%. Age, tumor size, FIGO (clinical) stage, surgically determined T and N stages, tumor differentiation, lymph vessel invasion, extent of surgical procedure, and adjuvant irradiation were analyzed to determine their effects on local control, freedom from distant metastases, and survival, using single variable and multivariate analysis. Local control was significantly related to FIGO stage; freedom from distant metastasis was significantly related to surgical N stage, tumor size, and surgical T stage; survival was significantly related to surgical N stage, tumor size, surgical T stage, age, and lymph vessel invasion. Metastatic involvement of inguinal lymph nodes was significantly correlated with tumor size and differentiation. Of 87 evaluable patients, 33 had inguinal node involvement, and of these, 17 developed recurrent disease. All 7 patients with pelvic node metastases had positive inguinal nodes, and all died; the cause of death could be determined in 5, of whom 4 manifested distant metastases. Pelvic lymphadenectomy conferred no survival benefit in this series, even in the presence of positive inguinal nodes. Local vulvar recurrence is a significant problem in patients with positive inguinal nodes, and postoperative irradiation should be directed to this area in these patients. Patients with vulvar recurrences, especially those occurring at least 2 years after surgery, can be successfully salvaged, and should therefore be treated aggressively.

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