Patterns of care for locally advanced vulvar cancer

Charu Sharma, Israel Deutsch, Thomas J. Herzog, Yu Shiang Lu, Alfred I. Neugut, Sharyn N. Lewin, Clifford K. Chao, Dawn L. Hershman, Jason D. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Patients with locally advanced vulvar carcinoma can be treated with primary surgery or neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Neoadjuvant treatment appears to be associated with decreased morbidity and acceptable long-term outcomes. We examined the patterns of care for women with locally advanced vulvar cancer. STUDY DESIGN: Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was used to examine women with stage III-IVA vulvar cancer treated from 1988 to 2008. Primary therapy was classified as surgery or radiation. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed to examine the use of primary radiotherapy. RESULTS: We identified a total of 2292 women including 1757 who underwent primary surgery (76.7%) and 535 treated with primary radiation (23.3%). The use of primary radiation increased with time from 18.0% in 1988 to 30.1% in 2008. In a multivariable model, older women (odds ratio [OR], 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03e1.72), black women (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.14e2.23), and patients with stage IVA tumors (OR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.78e2.81) were more likely to receive primary radiation. Among women treated with primary radiotherapy, only 17.8% ultimately underwent surgical resection. CONCLUSION: The use of primary radiation for locally advanced vulvar cancer is limited but has increased over time. Multiple patient and tumor factors influence use. The majority of patients with stage III-IVA vulvar cancer treated with primary radiation therapy did not undergo surgical resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60.e1-60.e5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced vulvar carcinoma
  • Morbidity
  • Neoadjuvant chemoradiation
  • Surgery
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Vulvectomy


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