The role of brachytherapy (interventional radiotherapy) for primary and/or recurrent vulvar cancer: a Gemelli Vul.Can multidisciplinary team systematic review

Clin Transl Oncol. 2021 Aug;23(8):1611-1619. doi: 10.1007/s12094-021-02557-1. Epub 2021 Mar 1.


Objective: The aim of our systematic review was to assess the role of interventional radiotherapy (IRT, brachytherapy) in the management of primary and/or recurrent vulvar carcinoma.

Evidence acquisition: A systematic research using PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane library was performed. was searched for ongoing or recently completed trials, and PROSPERO was searched for ongoing or recently completed systematic reviews. Only full-text English-language articles related to IRT for treatment of primary or recurrent VC were identified and reviewed. Conference paper, survey, letter, editorial, book chapter and review were excluded. Time restriction (1990-2018) as concerns the years of the publication was considered.

Evidence synthesis: Primary disease: the median 5-year LC was 43.5% (range 19-68%); the median 5-year DFS was 44.5% (range 44-81%); the median 5-year OS was 50.5% (range 27-85%). Recurrent disease: the median 5-year DFS was 64% (range 56-72%) and the median 5-year OS was 45% (range 33%-57%). Acute ≥ grade 2 toxicity was reported in three patients (1.6%). The severe late toxicity rates (grade 3-4) ranged from 0% to 14.3% (median 7.7%).

Conclusion: IRT as part of primary treatment for primary and/or recurrent vulvar cancer is associated with promising clinical outcomes.

Keywords: Advanced vulvar cancer; Brachytherapy; Interventional radiotherapy; Outcomes; Recurrences; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brachytherapy / adverse effects
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / mortality
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / surgery