Cisplatin-gemcitabine as palliative chemotherapy in advanced squamous vulvar carcinoma: report of two cases

Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2012;33(4):421-2.


Vulvar cancer (VC) is a rare disease, usually diagnosed in a stage still amenable to potentially curative treatments, including surgery and/or radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy. Several patients however present at diagnosis with metastatic disease and another 30-50% will relapse. Prognosis of metastatic or recurrent disease not amenable to salvage surgery or radiotherapy is very poor. Evidence about the efficacy of chemotherapy in this setting is limited and its role still remains unclear. At present there is no standard treatment for advanced VC and patients are usually treated with schedules adopted for chemoradiation or extrapolated from cervical cancer. We report our experience using a cisplatin-gemcitabine regimen in two cases of metastatic squamous cell VC. No response was obtained with this schedule. No other data are available in the literature about the choice of a cisplatin-gemcitabine regimen in this patient subset. The paucity of evidence about the role of palliative chemotherapy in metastatic VC justifies any effort to implement knowledge. For this reason we think it is notable to also report a negative experience. It is not possible for us to conclude that this chemotherapy would be unable to provide any benefit in a larger sample of patients; nonetheless we think that new agents, rather than combinations of older drugs, could hopefully provide more benefit.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Deoxycytidine
  • Cisplatin
  • Gemcitabine