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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Recurrence and survival rates in node negative patients after sentinel node biopsy for early-stage vulva cancer - A nationwide study

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OBJECTIVE: The sentinel node (SN) procedure is adopted in selected patients with early-stage vulva cancer (VC) in Denmark. Due to the low incidence of VC, large population-based studies on the safety of SN outside multicenter clinical trials are lacking. The current study evaluated the risk of recurrence and survival in SN- negative VC patients.

METHODS: Nationwide data was collected and registered prospectively in the Danish Gynecologic Cancer Database from January 2011 to July 2017. Patients with clinically stage IB-II unifocal vulva squamous cell carcinoma, tumor <4 cm and no clinically suspicious groin nodes or distant metastases, who underwent SN-procedure, were included.

RESULTS: The SN-procedure was performed in 286 patients, of these 190 (66.4%) patients were SN-negative. Twenty-three of the 190 SN-negative patients (12.1%) had one or more recurrences during a median follow-up of 30 months (range 1-83). Four patients (2.1%) had an isolated groin recurrence identified from 5 to 17 months after primary surgery. Fourteen patients (7.4%) experienced a local recurrence in vulva, 1 patient (0.5%) had a recurrence in the vulva and the groin and 4 patients (2.1%) had distant recurrences. The 3-year overall (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) for SN-negative patients was 84% and 93%, respectively. The 3-year OS for patients with recurrent disease was 58%.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest prospective nationwide study on SN-procedure in vulva cancer. The study confirms the safety of the SN-procedure in selected early-stage VC patients with a low isolated groin recurrence rate and a good DSS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Isolated groin recurrence, Sentinel Node procedure, Survival, Vulva cancer, Prospective Studies, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/mortality, Humans, Middle Aged, Lymphatic Metastasis, Vulvar Neoplasms/mortality, Denmark/epidemiology, Aged, 80 and over, Adult, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/mortality, Female, Registries, Sentinel Lymph Node/pathology, Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy/adverse effects

ID: 58995385