Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Vulvar/Vaginal Melanoma: An Updated Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Database Review, Comparison With Cutaneous Melanoma and Significance of Racial Disparities
  1. Ismail Mert, MD*,
  2. Assaad Semaan, MD*,
  3. Ira Winer, MD, PhD*,
  4. Robert T. Morris, MD* and
  5. Rouba Ali-Fehmi, MD
  1. *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
  2. Departments of Pathology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Rouba Ali-Fehmi, MD, Department of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University and Karmanos Cancer Institute, 3990 John R, Detroit, MI. 48201. E-mail:


Objective We aimed to compare the differences in demographic features, clinicopathologic features, and survival in patients with vulvar/vaginal melanoma versus cutaneous melanoma with a special emphasis on race.

Materials and Methods Data were obtained from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database from 1973 to 2008. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox multivariate model were used for statistical analysis.

Results Seven hundred sixty-two patients with vulvar/vaginal melanoma and 55,485 patients with cutaneous melanoma patients were included in the study. Twenty-eight patients of the vulvar/vaginal group and 334 patients of the cutaneous group were black (3.6% vs 0.6%, respectively). The median age at the time of diagnosis was 68 years in the vulvar/vaginal group and 52 years in the cutaneous group (P < 0.0001). Three hundred fifty patients (45.9%) in the vulvar/vaginal and 46,499 patients (83.8%) in the cutaneous group presented with localized disease (P < 0.0001), whereas 64 patients (8.4%) in the vulvar/vaginal group and 1520 patients (2.7%) in cutaneous group presented with advanced disease (P = 0.0081). The median survival of the black patients was 16 months in the vulvar/vaginal group and 124 months in the cutaneous melanoma group (P < 0.0001). The median survival in the nonblack population was 39 months in the vulvar/vaginal group compared to 319 months in the cutaneous melanoma group (P <0.0001). In multivariate analysis performed for patients between 1988 and 2008, age, stage, and positive lymph nodes were negative independent prognostic factors for survival in vulvar/vaginal melanoma; whereas age, race, stage, radiation therapy, and lymph node positivity were negative prognostic factors in cutaneous melanoma.

Conclusion These findings emphasize that cutaneous and vulvar/vaginal melanomas have different clinicopathologic features and survival patterns.

  • Vulvar/Vaginal melanoma
  • Cutaneous melanoma
  • SEER
  • Racial disparity

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • The preliminary data were presented at 41st AAGL Global Congress on Minimally invasive Gynecology, November 5–9, 2012, Las Vegas, USA.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.