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Recurrence Rate in Vulvar Carcinoma in Relation to Pathological Margin Distance
  1. Saskia M.A. Groenen, MD*,
  2. Petra J. Timmers, MD and
  3. Curt W. Burger, PgD, MD*
  1. * Department of Gynaecologic Oncology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands;
  2. Department of Gynaecology, Maasstad Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Saskia M.A. Groenen, MD, Ikazia Ziekenhuis, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Montessoriweg 1, 3083 AN Rotterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: s.groenen{at}


Objectives: This paper describes the results of a retrospective study of surgical approaches and recurrence rates relating to patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the vulva. The aim of this study was to analyze the histological margins in relation to recurrence rate and survival.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 93 cases of vulvar cancer. The data collected included clinicopathological and surgical characteristics and the following potential risk factors: pathological margin distance, less than 8 mm; stromal invasion depth, more than 2.5 mm; tumor size; and presence of benign or premalignant epithelial disorders.

Results: Ninety-three patients (median age, 74 years) underwent modified radical vulvectomy, hemi-vulvectomy, or local wide excision for SCC of the vulva from 2000 to 2005. The tumor was radically removed in 80 patients (86%), although the histopathological margin was less than 8 mm in 50 patients (54%). Eighteen patients (23%) developed a local recurrence. The recurrence rate did not differ between patients in whom the margin distance was 8 mm or more and those in whom the margin distance was less than 8 mm, (23% and 22%, respectively). The median follow-up was 31 months (range, 2-90 months).

Conclusions: Several studies showed that pathological margin distance of more than 8 mm is an important predictor for local recurrence. This finding was not confirmed in the present study.

  • Vulvar carcinoma
  • Pathologic margin distance
  • Recurrence rate

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