The role of surgery in invasive squamous carcinoma of the vagina

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Jun;81(3):360-5. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6171.


Objective: The aim of this study was to define the role of surgery in managing patients with a primary squamous vaginal cancer.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of patients with primary invasive vaginal cancer managed at one institution over a 25-year period. The results were compared with those of all major publications of the past 20 years.

Results: A total of 84 patients were reviewed. Forty-five (66%) were of squamous origin. The median follow-up was 45 months (range: 0.6-268). The patients were primarily treated by surgery in 67% and by radiotherapy alone in 33% of cases. The 5- and 10-year overall survival was, respectively, 74 and 58%. For stage I the figures were 91 and 70%. These survival rates compared favorably with those of published series of cases managed by radiotherapy alone. Univariate analysis showed that age (P = 0.004), size (P = 0.009), site (P = 0.016), lymph node status (P = 0.022), FIGO stage (P = 0.027), and treatment (P = 0.003) were relevant prognostic factors. Multiple regression analysis, however, revealed that only age (P = 0.009) and size (P = 0.037) were independent prognostic variables.

Conclusions: Stage I and II squamous vaginal cancer patients have good outcomes in terms of survival and local tumor control if they are managed by initial surgery followed by selective radiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / surgery*