Long-term sequelae of conservative treatment by surgery, brachytherapy, and chemotherapy for vulval and vaginal rhabdomyosarcoma in children

J Clin Oncol. 1990 Nov;8(11):1847-53. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1990.8.11.1847.


Between 1970 and 1978, 17 girls with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) of the vulva or vagina were treated at the Institut Gustave-Roussy (IGR) by conservative treatment including surgery, brachytherapy, and chemotherapy. Twelve pubescent or postpubescent girls were studied for long-term sequelae. Eleven of 12 patients have had a normal puberty, two have a total of three healthy children, 11 have normal menses, and 10 normal menarche (one after hormonal replacement). Only one patient underwent hysterectomy following low-dose brachytherapy. Five girls have no vaginal complications, and three are sexually active. Three have had minimal vaginal sequelae, which required surgical correction to permit sexual intercourse. Four girls sustained serious sequelae (colorectal, vaginal, urethral, and ureteral stenosis). These sequelae, secondary to irradiation, are potentially avoidable in the future given the current advances in brachytherapy and improvements in dosimetry. This conservative treatment is useful and appropriate for girls with RMS of vulvar or vaginal origin when complete remission cannot be obtained with chemotherapy and partial colpectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / drug therapy
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / radiotherapy
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / surgery
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / therapy*