Chemoradiation as primary or adjuvant treatment for locally advanced carcinoma of the vulva

Stephanie C. Han, David H. Kim, Susan A. Higgins, Maria Luisa Carcangiu, Barry M. Kacinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine the impact of primary or adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation (CRT) on the survival rates of patients with locally advanced vulvar carcinoma. Methods and Materials: Between 1973 and 1998, 54 patients with vulvar cancer were treated with radiation therapy, among which 20 received CRT, while 34 patients received radiation therapy (RT) alone. Of the 20 patients, 14 were treated for primary or recurrent disease (pCRT), and 6 after radical vulvectomy for high-risk disease (aCRT). Of the 34 patients, 12 were treated primarily (pRT) and 22 received adjuvant treatment (aRT). Chemotherapy consisted of 2 courses of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin C administered during RT. Six patients received cisplatin in place of mitomycin C. In CRT groups, radiation was administered to the vulva, pelvic, and inguinal lymph nodes to a median dose of 45 Gy with additional 6-17 Gy to gross disease. In RT groups, the median dose to the microscopic diseases was 45 Gy. Nine patients received external beam boost and 16 patients received supplementary brachytherapy in the forms of 226Ra or 241Am plaques to sites of macroscopic disease. Results: Overall survival was superior in the patients treated with pCRT versus pRT with statistical significance (p = 0.04). There was also a statistically significant improvement in disease-specific (p = 0.03) and relapse-free survival (p = 0.01) favoring pCRT. No statistically significant trends of improved survival rates favoring aCRT over aRT were observed. Conclusion: Concurrent radiation therapy and chemotherapy decreases local relapse rate, improves disease-specific and overall survival over RT alone as primary treatment for locally advanced vulvar cancer. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1244
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2000


  • 5-Fluorouracil
  • Advanced vulvar cancer
  • Chemoradiation
  • Cisplatin
  • Mitomycin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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