Vulvar epithelioid sarcoma in pregnancy

Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Apr;85(1):218-22. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2002.6610.


Background: Epithelioid sarcoma is a soft tissue tumor rarely found centrally and even less commonly on the vulva. Vulvar sarcoma in pregnancy is also exceedingly rare with only five cases reported to date, none of which have been an epithelioid sarcoma.

Case: We report a case of a 29-year-old woman presenting with a vulvar epithelioid sarcoma at 36 weeks of gestation. The patient underwent a radical resection 6 weeks postpartum followed by chemotherapy. Despite a radical hemivulvectomy and doxorubicin and ifosfamide chemotherapy, she developed pulmonary metastasis and died of tumor-related pulmonary failure secondary to her disease 612 months after diagnosis. To our knowledge this is the first case of a vulvar epithelioid sarcoma presenting during pregnancy. The English literature is reviewed and a total of 18 previous cases of vulvar epithelioid sarcoma have been reported outside of pregnancy. Insight into the biological behavior and therapeutic management of this disease is discussed.

Conclusion: The optimal management of vulvar epithelioid sarcoma remains to be determined. However, it would seem that early and aggressive surgical resection provides the best possibility for cure. The role of radiation and/or chemotherapy remains to be determined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / surgery
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma / pathology*
  • Sarcoma / surgery
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / surgery