[Results of an individualized surgical therapy of vulvar carcinoma from 1973-1993].Zentralbl Gynakol. 1997; 119 Suppl 1:8-16.ZG
From 1973 through 1993, the University of Leipzig Women's Hospital treated 285 patients with primary vulvar malignancies. Of these, 269 cases (94.3%) were squamous cell carcinomas. The patients age averaged 69 years (25-95 years). 232 women (81.4%) were older than 60 years. Only 20 women (7%) were younger than 50 years. During the given time period, 266 patients (93.3%) underwent primary surgery. Standard operative treatment, performed in 105 cases (39.5%), was radical vulvectomy and bilateral superficial inguinal lymph node dissection. Rather than en bloc resection (Butterfly method), separate incisions were used during node dissection. Only 3 patients (2.9%) experienced a relapse within the remaining skin bridge. Irradiation with a focal doses of ca. 50 Gy followed postoperative-adjuvant in those cases involving the inguinal lymph nodes. In contrast, 161 patients received largely individualized surgical treatment. Local tumor extension and patient age-dependent operability influenced the choice of treatment. Partial vulvectomy was performed in 37 cases (13.9%). Simple vulvectomy without inguinal node dissection was performed in 115 cases (43.2%) and 9 patients underwent vulvectomy with vaginal-, urethral- and partial sphincter resection, accompanied by myocutaneous flap transposition (M. gluteus maximus lobe). The cumulative (corrected) 5-year survival rate for all patients with squamous cell carcinoma was 68.6%. No significant relationship between patient age (> 60 years vs. < or = 60 years) and prognosis could be seen. Factors of importance to the prognosis, however, were primary tumor size (FIGO stage I vs. II vs. III/IV), principal tumor site (significantly poorer survival rates characterize both clitoral and multifocal carcinomas), histological staging (G1 vs. G2/G3), inguinal lymph node involvement (pN+ vs. pN-) and degree of tumor resection in "healthy" (> or = 2 cm vs. < 2 cm). 5-year survival rates among those patients receiving individualized operative care did not differ significantly. Patient survival rates were 70.3% by partial vulvectomy, 78.2% by simple vulvectomy without inguinal node dissection and 67.6% by radical vulvectomy and bilateral inguinal node dissection with or without postoperative-adjuvant irradiation. These findings, therefore, justify the individualized operative treatment of patients with vulvar carcinoma according to each patient's initial prognostic situation. The relatively seldom vulvar carcinoma should only be treated by experienced surgeons in an appropriate hospital environment. Moreover, assessment of histological sections must be standardized, reproducible and above all, include the very accurate evaluation of all resection edges.