Primary invasive cancer of the vagina: outcome and complications of therapy

Australas Radiol. 1999 Nov;43(4):472-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1673.1999.00715.x.


The aim of the present study was to review the characteristics of cases of vaginal cancer, results of treatment and complications occurring at Westmead Hospital over the period 1979-96. International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status had been recorded prospectively, while other information was obtained retrospectively, including complications using the Franco-Italian Glossary. There were 37 eligible patients, 34 of whom were treated radically. Five-year survival for stage I was 90%, for stage II it was 50%, and for stage III it was 40%. There was only one stage-IV patient. The majority of patients who relapsed did so locally (63%). Using the Franco-Italian Glossary 10.8% of patients had, at worst, G0 toxicity, 21.6% had G1 toxicity, 29.7% had G2 toxicity, 37.8% had G3 toxicity, and no patients had G4 toxicity. Seven patients (18.9%) had a laparotomy for a complication of therapy. Excluding the three palliative patients and controlling for disease stage, it was found that there was a trend to improved survival in patients who had brachytherapy and those who suffered worse complications. While results for treatment of early stage vaginal cancer appear good, new techniques, particularly those that improve local control, are required for higher stage disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Brachytherapy
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Mitomycin
  • Fluorouracil