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Clinical and histopathologic factors related to prognosis in primary squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina
  1. K. Hellman*,
  2. M. Lundell,
  3. C. Silfverswärd,
  4. B. Nilsson§,
  5. A. C. Hellström* and
  6. B. Frankendal*
  1. * Department of Gynecological Oncology, Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Department of Hospital Physics, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. Department of Oncology-Pathology, Cancer Centre Karolinska, Sweden
  4. § Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr Kristina Hellman, MD, PhD, Department of Gynecological Oncology, Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital, S-17176 Stockholm, Sweden. Email: kristina.hellman{at}


The goal of this retrospective study concerning primary carcinoma of the vagina (PCV) was to analyze clinical and histopathologic prognostic factors in one of the largest known material, which comprised 314 patients. PCV is a rare disease, and the majority of published studies are based on small materials; therefore, the established knowledge concerning prognostic factors is insufficient. Routine treatment is based on irradiation with risk for undertreatment or overtreatment, which leads to unnecessary complications in the absence of prognostic factors. The overall 5-year disease-specific survival rate in this study was 45% and in stage I 75%. In the univariate statistical analysis, several factors correlated significantly with disease-specific survival. However, in the multivariate analysis, there were only three factors that independently could predict poor survival—high age at diagnosis, large tumors (≥4 cm), and advanced stage. Common background factors with no prognostic significance were prior hysterectomy, other gynecological malignancies, and pelvic irradiation. In conclusion, this study has elucidated three strong prognostic factors that might be considered in the choice of therapy and also for modification of the FIGO guidelines. Increased knowledge concerning complementary biologic markers to discriminate between low- and high malignant tumors is however of great importance.

  • prognosis
  • survival
  • vaginal carcinoma

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