Treatment results and prognostic factors of patients with vulvar cancer treated with postoperative or definitive radiotherapy

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Vulvar cancer is a relatively uncommon type of gynecologic cancer. The aim of this study is to analyze the treatment results and prognostic factors of vulvar cancer.


Forty-four vulvar cancer patients treated between 2000 and 2011 at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, were retrospectively reviewed. External radiotherapy (RT) was applied with 6-18 MV linear accelerators with 1.8 Gy daily fractions with a median total dose of 50.4 Gy (45-59.4 Gy) for postoperative cases and 64.8 Gy (range 54-66 Gy) for definitive cases. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 13.0.


Among 44 patients with a median age of 68 years (range 28-86), 14 (31.8%) were treated with curative and 30 (68.2%) were treated with postoperative RT or radiochemotherapy (RCT). According to International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics staging, 11 (25%) had stage IB, 10 (22.7%) had stage II, 6 (13.6%) had stage IIIA, 5 (11.4%) had stage IIIB, and 12 (27.3%) had stage IVA disease. Within a median of 24 months (range 6-135) of follow-up, 11 (27.3%) patients had local recurrence, 8 had regional recurrence, 2 had both local and regional recurrence, and 6 had distant metastases. Five-year locoregional, disease-free, and overall survival rates were 45%, 40%, and 54%, respectively. Older age, poor tumor differentiation, positive surgical margin, and lymphovascular space invasion were found to be important prognostic factors for disease-related outcomes.


Prognosis of vulvar cancer remains poor even with a multidisciplinary approach. Molecular prognostic factors need to be defined for individualized treatment options to achieve better treatment results.

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