Early invasive vulvar squamous cell carcinoma arising in a woman with vulvar pemphigus vulgaris and systemic lupus erythematosus

Giuseppe Bifulco, Vincenzo D. Mandato, Roberto Piccoli, Pierluigi Giampaolino, Chiara Mignogna, Michele D. Mignogna, Luigi Costagliola, Carmine Nappi

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Background: Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering disease of the skin and mucous membranes. Genital involvement occurs when most other common sites are concurrently affected or are in remission. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that may affect many parts of the body and the skin with occasional bullous lesions. Pemphigus vulgaris and SLE may be associated, albeit rarely. Here, we report the first case of a woman affected with SLE presenting with early invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arising from Pemphigus Vulgaris of the vulva.Case presentation: A 27-year-old Caucasian woman was admitted to our Gynaecology Unit for bleeding vegetant lesions of the vulva. Her history was characterized by systemic lupus erythematosus and PV. Biopsy showed concomitant PV and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) grade 3. One month later a new biopsy revealed progression from VIN 3 to early SCC. Despite chemotherapy, no remission of disease was observed. She died six months after diagnosis. Conclusion: Our case underlines PV as another chronic inflammatory disease of the lower genital tract predisposing to VIN-SCC. It suggests the need for careful follow-up of patients with chronic inflammatory disease, especially when concomitant autoimmune disorders are present. Moreover, a biopsy should be always performed if there are PV lesions because of the possibility of neoplastic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number324
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Jun 23 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

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