Loss in 3p and 4p and gain of 3q are concomitant aberrations in squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva

Mod Pathol. 2001 May;14(5):377-81. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880321.


Neoplasm of the vulva is a rare malignancy accounting for <5% of all female genital-tract cancer. However, in recent years the incidence of vulva intraepithelial neoplasia, known to serve as a precursor to carcinoma, has increased in young women generating considerable interest in its pathogenesis. Genetic changes at the molecular level in precursor or invasive vulvar tumors are not well investigated, and DNA copy number changes have not been reported until now. We used comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to analyze genetic alterations in 10 primary invasive squamous cell carcinomas of the vulva. Chromosomal aberrations were identified in 8/10 cases. The most frequent chromosomal losses were 4p13-pter (five cases), 3p (four cases), and 5q (two cases), and less frequent losses were detected at 6q, 11q, and 13q (one case each). The most frequent chromosomal gains were 3q (four cases) and 8p (three cases), and less frequent gains were found in 9p, 14, 17, and 20q (one case each). The pattern of chromosomal imbalance in vulvar cancer detected by CGH was revealed to be very similar to that in cervical cancers, despite regional differences in their prevalence. These results suggest that the pathogenic pathways in vulvar and cervical carcinomas may be similar and that the genetic background may be common to these two squamous cell carcinomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3* / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 4* / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Karyotyping
  • Middle Aged
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology


  • DNA, Neoplasm