Recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva: Clinicopathologic determinants identifying low risk patients

Mario Preti, Guglielmo Ronco, Bruno Ghiringhello, Leonardo Micheletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The identification of prognostic factors in the recurrence of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma is crucial for less invasive treatments. METHODS. The authors studied 101 patients treated for primary invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva. Selected pathologic variables were observed in a standardized manner during treatment, and their association with disease free survival was investigated using the Cox model. Independent prognostic factors were selected by a stepwise procedure. The absolute survival of patient groups determined on the basis of such factors was computed by the product limit method. RESULTS. The median follow-up was 3.1 years (range, 56 days to 15.5 years). Recurrences developed in 33 patients. The independent recurrence predictors were as follows: International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Stage IVA (vs. IB, II, or III) (risk ratio [RR]adjusted for other independent factors, 7.39), tumor multifocality (RR, 4.10), lymphovascular space involvement (LVSI) (RR, 2.96), the presence of associated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) Grade 2 or 3 (RR, 3.34), and the involvement of resection margins (RR, 4.88). By ignoring the FIGO stage and lymph node status, the independent predictors were then as follows: greatest tumor dimension <2.5 cm, 2.5-4 cm (RR, 2.86), or > 4 cm (RR, 5.98); tumor multifocality (RR, 3.36); LVSI (RR, 4.19); the presence of VIN 2 or 3 (RR, 3.06); and the involvement of surgical margins (RR, 2.78). No recurrences were observed in 119 at-risk years among patients with unifocal tumors <2.5 cm in greatest dimension, free surgical margins, no LVSI, and no associated VIN 2 or 3. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of associated VIN 2 or 3 was revealed to be a previously unidentified independent prognostic factor for recurrence. Subjects at low risk of recurrence could be identified even without consideration of lymph node status. (C) 2000 American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1869-1876
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2000


  • Multivariate analysis
  • Neoplasm recurrence
  • Treatment outcome
  • Vulvar neoplasm pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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