Objective: To evaluate clinical prognostic factors for local recurrence of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma after primary surgical treatment.
Study design: Of 104 patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva in an 11-year period (1987-1997) at the Portuguese Cancer Institute, we selected for study 56 patients who meet the following criteria: (1) International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage Ib-IVa, (2) primary treatment of en bloc radical vulvectomy and bilateral groin dissection, and (3) follow-up reports. Files were retrieved for retrospective analysis. Fifteen patients (26.8%) had local recurrence at the fifth year. At the 24th month, 11 patients had local recurrence, and 31 were in follow-up, without recurrence. We evaluated age at initial diagnosis, date of surgical treatment, tumor size, results of tumor macroscopy, histologic differentiation, groin lymph node status, FIGO stage, resection limits, adjuvant radiotherapy, duration of stay, associated vulvar skin disease, date of detection of recurrence, site/sites of recurrence and follow-up status at the 24th month after surgical treatment between the 11 patients with local recurrence and 31 in follow-up without recurrence.
Results: The 11 patients with local recurrence had a significant initial FIGO stage, IVa (P = .049) and a significant association with the number of groin lymph nodes containing metastasis in comparison to the 31 patients without local recurrence. No other statistically compared data were significant.
Conclusion: These results suggest that vulvar squamous cell carcinoma local recurrence after a primary surgical procedure is related to poor tumor prognostic factors (number of groin nodes containing tumor metastasis and FIGO stage IVa). On multivariate analysis, the presence of metastasis in two or more groin nodes was a powerful factor related to local recurrence. Postoperative radiotherapy to the vulva for such patients with a high risk of local recurrence is advisable.