The Role of Pathological Margin Distance and Prognostic Factors After Primary Surgery in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Vulva

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The aim of this study was to determine the impact of clear surgical margin distance and other factors associated with the recurrence and survival of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva.


A total of 107 patients operated for vulvar carcinoma from 1996 to 2016 were included in the analysis. Patients were divided into subgroups with clear pathological margin of 2 mm or less, greater than 2 to less than 8 mm, and 8 mm or greater for the analysis of the prognostic impact of the clear margin distance. Data were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression.


The median age of the patients was 66 years. The median follow-up was 69 months. The labia majora and/or labia minora were the most common sites of involvement. Radical local excision and radical vulvectomy were performed in 96 and 11 patients, respectively. Thirty-nine patients received adjuvant radiotherapy. The overall recurrence rate was 46%. At 231 months, the actuarial local recurrence rate was 18.6%. Patients with clear pathological margin of 2 mm or less had significantly higher local recurrence risk. Five-year disease-free survival was 32.7%. Older age and adjuvant chemotherapy were found as independent prognostic factors for disease-free survival.


Our data suggest that a more than 2 mm tumor-free margins is associated with better local control. In addition, older age is an independent prognostic factor for survival.

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