Prognostic factors in Paget's disease of the vulva: a study of 21 cases

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 1999 Oct;18(4):351-9. doi: 10.1097/00004347-199910000-00010.


Twenty-one cases of vulvar Paget's disease were studied to assess possible prognostic indicators, including presence and depth of invasion, status of resection margins, tumor DNA cell content, and immunoreactivity for p53 and estrogen receptor proteins. Immunostaining for cytokeratin 7 (CK7), cytokeratin 20 (CK20), and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP) were also performed. Patients were 45 to 82 years of age (mean, 66.9 years). Ten of 21 patients (47.6%) had invasive Paget's disease. Dermal invasion was < or = 1 mm in 7 of 10 cases and 2 mm, 3 mm, and 8 mm in the remaining three invasive tumors. Of the seven patients with minimally invasive Paget's disease (< or = 1 mm depth of invasion), five are alive with no evidence of disease, one died of an unrelated illness, and one is alive with biopsy-proven in situ Paget's disease, having refused operative treatment. Of the three patients with more than minimally invasive Paget's disease (> 1 mm), all had nodal metastases; one patient is alive with no evidence of disease, one died of undertermined causes, and one died of metastatic Paget's disease. The remaining 11 patients had Paget's disease confined to the epidermis and its adnexal structures. Seven of these patients were alive at last follow-up with no evidence of disease. Of the remaining four patients, one died of metastatic cervical cancer, one died of metastatic bladder cancer, one died of an unrelated illness, and one patient is alive with biopsy-proven in situ Paget's disease and awaiting operative treatment. Twenty of the 21 cases represented primary vulvar Paget's disease while one represented possible local spread from a cervical adenocarcinoma. The immunoprofiles were GCDFP+/CK7+/CK20- in 14 cases, GCDFP+/CK7+/CK20+ in 4 cases, and GCDFP-/CK7+/CK20- in 2 cases. All tumors were estrogen receptor-negative. Immunostaining for p53 was positive in 16 tumors and negative in four tumors. Seven of 12 (58%) patients with positive margins experienced local recurrence of Paget's disease, while the disease recurred in 1 of 4 patients with negative margins. Recurrence was observed in 3 of 5 patients with diploid tumors and in 4 of 10 patients with aneuploid tumors. Neither of these differences is statistically significant. This study supports the recognition of a category of minimally invasive vulvar Paget's disease that has a low risk of distant metastasis and death caused by disease. Status of surgical resection margins, tumor cell DNA ploidy, estrogen receptor expression, and p53 immunoreactivity are not predictive of local recurrence.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneuploidy
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / genetics
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / metabolism
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / mortality
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / pathology*
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / surgery
  • Ploidies
  • Prognosis
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / genetics
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / mortality
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / surgery


  • Biomarkers, Tumor