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Definitive chemoradiation or radiation therapy alone for the management of vulvar cancer
  1. Parul Nafees Barry1,
  2. Diane C Ling2 and
  3. Sushil Beriwal3,4
  1. 1 Department of Radiation Oncology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3 Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  4. 4 Varian Medical Systems Inc, Palo Alto, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sushil Beriwal, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; sushilberiwal{at}


Vulvar cancer is rare, and unresectable disease provides a therapeutic conundrum. Although definitive surgery remains the mainstay for curative treatment of vulvar cancer, a minority of patients present with advanced disease for which surgical resection would be extraordinarily morbid. Pre-operative and definitive radiation with radiosensitizing systemic therapy allows such patients an opportunity for cure. In this review, we explore the origins of pre-operative radiation, current treatment standards for pre-operative and definitive chemoradiation, and future directions.

  • vulvar and vaginal cancer
  • radiation oncology
  • radiotherapy
  • intensity-modulated

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  • Contributors PNB, DCL, and SB contributed equally to the planning, writing and development of this review article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SB: Elsevier pathway consultant; Xoft DSMBVarian employer. PNB: Elsevier pathway consultant. DCL: None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.