Analysis of non-squamous vulvar cancer cases: A 21-year experience in a single center

Turk J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Sep;11(3):165-169. doi: 10.4274/tjod.83436. Epub 2014 Sep 15.


Objective: To evaluate the patients with non-squamous cell type of vulvar cancer who were treated in our clinic within 21 years.

Materials and methods: We assessed the data of 14 patients who were treated for non-squamous cancer of the vulva between January 1992 and August 2013. The age of patients, histopathological diagnosis of the tumor, tumor size, tumor location, medical or surgical treatment, response to the treatment, recurrence, and survival rates were analyzed.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 53 years. The main complaint was vulvar pruritus (71%). Mean tumor size was 2.4 cm (range: 0.5-6 cm). In 65% of cases, the tumor was localized in the labia majora. The histopathologic diagnosis of the patients was as follows: malignant melanoma in 5 patients, basal cell carcinoma in 5 patients, mucinous type adenocarcinoma in 2 patients, apocrine gland carcinoma in one patients, and malign peripheral nerve sheath tumor in 1 patient. For 11 patients, surgery was the primary treatment. Radical vulvectomy and bilateral inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy were performed in 8 patients. Local excision alone without lymphadenectomy was performed in other 3 patients. Five of eight patients (62.5%), who undergone radical surgery, had lymph node metastases. Of these 5 patients, two had bilateral lymph node metastasis. Mean follow-up time was 49.2 months (range 12 to 72 months). Eight (57.1%) patients had suffered first recurrence. In those patients, the mean time to recurrence was 19.5 months (range, 6-48 months).

Conclusion: Non-squamous cell vulvar cancer is a rare disease and comprises a heterogeneous group of tumors. Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive one. Multicenter prospective studies are necessary in order to standardize the treatment of these rare tumors.

Keywords: Non-squamous vulvar cancer; basal cell carcinoma; malignant melanoma.