Sentinel nodes in vulvar cancer: Long-term follow-up of the GROningen INternational Study on Sentinel nodes in Vulvar cancer (GROINSS-V) I

Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Jan;140(1):8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.09.077. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Objective: In 2008 GROINSS-V-I, the largest validation trial on the sentinel node (SN) procedure in vulvar cancer, showed that application of the SN-procedure in patients with early-stage vulvar cancer is safe. The current study aimed to evaluate long-term follow-up of these patients regarding recurrences and survival.

Methods: From 2000 until 2006 GROINSS-V-I included 377 patients with unifocal squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva (T1, <4 cm), who underwent the SN-procedure. Only in case of SN metastases an inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy was performed. For the present study follow-up was completed until March 2015.

Results: Themedian follow-up was 105 months (range 0–179). The overall local recurrence ratewas 27.2% at 5 years and 39.5% at 10 years after primary treatment, while for SN-negative patients 24.6% and 36.4%, and for SN-positive patients 33.2% and 46.4% respectively (p = 0.03). In 39/253 SN-negative patients (15.4%) an inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy was performed, because of a local recurrence. Isolated groin recurrence rate was 2.5% for SN-negative patients and 8.0% for SN-positive patients at 5 years. Disease-specific 10-year survival was 91% for SN-negative patients compared to 65% for SN-positive patients (p b .0001). For all patients, 10-year disease-specific survival decreased from 90% for patients without to 69% for patients with a local recurrence (p b .0001).

Keywords: Long-term follow-up; Sentinel node; Vulvar cancer.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy / methods*
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy / standards
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology*