Between July 1987 and September 1991 a program of external beam radiation and synchronous, radiopotentiating chemotherapy was employed to treat 25 women with locoregionally advanced or locoregionally recurrent squamous cancer of the vulva. Of 18 previously untreated patients, 1 was Stage II, 10 were Stage III, 6 were Stage IVA, and 1 was Stage IVB. Reasons for patient referral for nonsurgical management included the presence of initially unresectable disease (5 patients), disease extent which would have necessitated partial or total exenteration if treated surgically (9 patients), disease extent predictive of inadequate surgical margins (less than 1 cm gross margin) if treated by less than exenterative surgery (8 patients), and severe comorbid illness precluding surgical management (3 patients). Complete clinical response was obtained in 16 of 18 previously untreated patients (89%) and in 4 of 7 patients with recurrent disease following vulvar surgery (57%). Of 20 patients achieving a complete clinical response, 3 patients have relapsed within the irradiated volume at 11, 38, and 48 months following completion of treatment. Fourteen patients remain alive and continuously cancer free from 2-52 months after completion of treatment (median follow-up 24 months). This experience suggests that initial management with radiation and chemotherapy may offer some patients with locally advanced squamous cancer of the vulva an alternative to exenterative surgery and may hold curative potential for some patients with surgically unresectable or medically inoperable disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology