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Carcinoma of the Bartholin Gland: A Review of 33 Cases
  1. Asha B. Bhalwal, MD,
  2. Alpa M. Nick, MD,
  3. Ricardo dos Reis, MD,
  4. Chun-Ling Chen, MD,
  5. Mark F. Munsell, MS,
  6. Preetha Ramalingam, MD,
  7. Mila Pontremoli Salcedo, MD,
  8. Pedro T. Ramirez, MD,
  9. Anil K. Sood, MD and
  10. Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD
  1. * From the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Departments of
  2. Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine,
  3. Biostatistics, and
  4. § Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX;
  5. Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos, Sao Paulo, Brazil;
  6. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beijing Henghe Hospital, Beijing, China; and
  7. # Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal University of Health Sciences/Irmandade Santa Casa de Misericordia, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, Unit 1362, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: kschmele{at}mdanderson.org.

Abstract

Objective Primary carcinoma of the Bartholin gland is a rare malignancy that accounts for approximately 5% of vulvar carcinomas. The aim of the study was to compare the outcomes of women with primary Bartholin gland carcinoma (BGC) with those with non-Bartholin gland–related vulvar carcinoma.

Materials and Methods A retrospective chart review of 429 patients with invasive vulvar carcinoma evaluated at a single institution between 1993 and 2011 was performed. Medical records were reviewed for demographic data, pathologic information, treatment type, and recurrence/outcome information. These variables were compared between patients with primary BGC and patients with non-Bartholin gland–related vulvar carcinoma.

Results Thirty-three (7.7%) of the 429 patients with invasive vulvar carcinoma had primary carcinoma of the Bartholin gland. Twenty-nine patients (87.9%) had squamous cell histology and 4 patients (12.1%) had adenocarcinoma. When compared with non-Bartholin gland–related vulvar carcinoma, patients with primary BGC had a younger age at diagnosis (median, 57 vs 63 years; P = 0.045), had a higher rate of stage III/IV disease (60.6% vs 35.8%; P = 0.008), and were more likely to receive radiation therapy (78.8% vs 43.9%; P < 0.001). However, there were no significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to histologic subtype, lymphovascular space involvement, perineural invasion, positive margins, recurrence-free survival, or overall survival.

Conclusions Despite being diagnosed at a more advanced stage, patients with primary carcinoma of the Bartholin gland seem to have similar oncologic outcomes and survival rates to patients with non-Bartholin gland–related vulvar carcinoma.

  • Bartholin’s gland carcinoma
  • Vulvar carcinoma
  • Bartholin’s gland

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Footnotes

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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