Objective: To evaluate the supplementary value of adding hyperthermia to radiotherapy in patients with primary vaginal cancer.
Study design: Cohort of 44 patients diagnosed with primary vaginal cancer between 1990 and 2002 was assessed. Survival rates and median survival of patients with primary vaginal cancer undergoing radiotherapy with and without hyperthermia were compared. Hyperthermia was solely added to radiotherapy in case of a tumor size >4 cm in diameter for FIGO stage III disease.
Results: The calculated overall 5-year survival of primary vaginal cancer was 63%. In comparison to histologic high grade tumors, higher survival rates for histologic low grade tumors were calculated. For FIGO stage III of disease, the addition of hyperthermia to radiotherapy for tumors >4 cm in diameter resulted similar survival rates and median survival when compared to those achieved by radiotherapy as monotherapy in tumors of <4 cm in diameter.
Conclusions: The addition of hyperthermia to radiotherapy might result in better survival rates in primary vaginal cancer for tumors >4 cm in diameter. The supplementary effect of hyperthermia to radiotherapy may be a feasible and beneficial approach in the treatment of vaginal cancer.