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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1988 Jul;159(1):52-5.

Conservative therapy for melanoma of the vulva.

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Department of Gynecology and Pathology, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263.


Recent cooperative studies have demonstrated that less radical local resection of cutaneous melanomas is equally effective as a traditional radical approach. A retrospective review of vulvar melanoma was undertaken to determine if mode of therapy affected recurrence. Survival correlated independently with depth of invasion and age (p = 0.05 and p less than 0.02, respectively). In the comparison of radical vulvectomy with local excision, no patient differences in age or histopathologic variables were determined (nodal disease status, histology, mitotic count, lymphocytic infiltration, or ulceration). Radical vulvectomy did not improve survival over local therapy (p greater than 0.2). Six of eight patients whose melanoma had less than 2 mm of invasion treated with local therapy are disease free after a median of 127 months (range 6 to 300 months). For local excision, recurrences were more frequent when margins were less than 2 cm, but this was not statistically significant in this small sample. Although the current series is small and retrospective, its findings suggest that treatment recommendations of large cutaneous nonvulvar melanoma studies are applicable to vulvar melanoma. A prospective randomized study of radical versus conservative surgery for vulvar melanoma will be necessary to confirm these treatment recommendations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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