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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2015 Apr;41(4):592-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2015.01.002. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Clitoral involvement of squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva: localization with the worst prognosis.

Author information

1
Radboud University Medical Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Floor.Hinten@radboudumc.nl.
2
Radboud University Medical Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
Radboud University Medical Centre, Department for Health Evidence, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The overall 5-year survival of patients with vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is 70%. The clinical impression is that localization of SCC on the clitoris may lead to worse prognosis. The aim of this study is to assess the disease specific survival (DSS) in patients with clitoral SCC compared to patients with SCC without clitoral involvement.

METHODS:

All consecutive patients with primary vulvar SCC treated with surgery at the Department of Gynaecologic Oncology at the Radboud university medical centre (Radboudumc) between March 1988 and January 2012, were analysed. The clinical and histopathological characteristics and DSS rates of patients with (N = 72) and without clitoral SCC (N = 275) were compared. Furthermore, patients with clitoral involvement were compared to patients with perineal SCCs (N = 52) and other central SCCs without clitoral and/or perineal involvement (N = 117).

RESULTS:

Patients with clitoral SCC more often had larger and deeper invaded tumours, lymphovascular space involvement (LVSI), positive surgical margins and a higher percentage of positive lymph nodes. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses showed worse DSS in patients with a clitoral SCC compared to patients without clitoral involvement. Multivariable analysis showed that not clitoral involvement, but invasion depth, differentiation grade and lymph node status are independent prognostic factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with clitoral SCC have worse survival compared to patients without clitoral involvement. This is probably caused by unfavourable histopathological characteristics of the tumour rather than the localization itself. Prospective studies are needed to further assess the influence of localization of the vulvar SCC on prognosis.

KEYWORDS:

Clitoris; Survival; Vulvar cancer

PMID:
25638604
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejso.2015.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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