Surgical Management and Prognostic Factors of Vulvovaginal Melanoma

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of the study was to evaluate the surgical management and the role of different prognostic factors on survival outcomes of women affected by genital (i.e., vulvar and vaginal) melanoma.

Materials and Methods

Data of patients undergoing primary surgical treatment for genital melanoma were evaluated in this retrospective study. Baseline, pathological, and postoperative variables were tested to identify prognostic factors. Five-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models.

Results

Overall, 98 patients met the inclusion criteria. Sixty-seven (68%) and 31 (32%) patients in this study population were diagnosed with vulvar and vaginal melanoma, respectively. Median (range) DFS and OS were 12 (1–70) and 22 (1–70) months, respectively. Considering factors influencing DFS, we observed that at multivariate analysis, only vaginal localization (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.72; 95% CI = 1.05–13.2) and number of mitoses (HR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.11–1.39) proved to be associated with worse DFS. Nodal status was the only independent factor influencing 5-year OS in patients with vulvar (HR = 1.76; 95% CI = 1.22–2.54; p = .002) and vaginal (HR = 3.65; 95% CI = 1.08–12.3; p = .03) melanoma.

Conclusions

Genital melanomas are characterized by a poor prognosis. Number of mitoses and lymph node status are the main factors influencing survival. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment. A correct and prompt diagnosis is paramount.

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