Risk factors and treatment for recurrent vulvar squamous cell carcinoma

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016 Oct:106:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2016.07.007. Epub 2016 Jul 25.


Recurrent disease occurs in 12-37% of patients with vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC). Decisions about treatment of recurrent VSCC mainly depend on the location of the recurrence and previous treatment, resulting in individualized and consensus-based approaches. Most recurrences (40-80%) occur within 2 years after initial treatment. Currently, wide local excision is the treatment of choice for local recurrences. Isolated local recurrence of VSCC has a good prognosis, with reported 5-year survival rates of up to 60%. Groin recurrences and distant recurrences are less common and have an extremely poor prognosis. For groin recurrences, surgery with or without (chemo) radiotherapy is a treatment option, depending on prior treatment. For distant recurrences, there are only palliative treatment options. In this review, we give an overview of the available literature and discuss epidemiology, risk factors, and prognostic factors for the different types of recurrent VSCC and we describe treatment options and clinical outcome.

Keywords: Recurrence; Risk factors; Squamous cell carcinoma; Treatment; Vulva.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / therapy*