Primary malignant melanoma of the vagina: case report and review of literature

Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2002;23(3):195-8.


Primary vaginal malignant melanoma is rare, with < 250 reported cases to date. It accounts for < 1% of all melanomas in women, < 10% of all female genital tract melanomas, and < 3% of all vaginal malignancies. Its clinical behavior is notoriously more aggressive than that of cutaneous and vulvar melanoma, with a 5-year survival rate ranging from 5% to 25%. Tumor size is the strongest predictor of survival, whereas tumor thickness is a weak predictor of survival. A case of F.I.G.O. stage I vaginal melanoma encircling and embracing the entire circumference of the middle third of the vagina is described. Tumor size and thickness were 6 cm and 9 mm, respectively. The patient was treated by wide local excision and pelvic radiotherapy, and to date, 11 months after surgery, she is alive and with no evidence of disease. It is concluded that wide local excision followed by pelvic radiotherapy is an appropriate treatment for melanoma confined to the vagina.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy
  • Melanoma / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / surgery