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Minerva Ginecologica 2020 Dec 11

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.20.04743-7

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Reducing the radicality of surgery for vulvar cancer: are smaller margins safe?

Sarah MILLIKEN 1, James MAY 1, Peter A. SANDERSON 1, Mario A. CONGIU 2, Ottavia D’ORIA 4 , Tullio GOLIA D'AUGÈ 3, Giuseppe CARUSO 3, Violante DI DONATO 3, Pierluigi BENEDETTI PANICI 3, Andrea GIANNINI 4

1 Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 2 Department of Gynecology and Breast Surgery, Hospital Robert Schuman, Vantoux, France; 3 Department of Maternal and Child Health and Urological Sciences, Sapienza University, Umberto I Hospital, Rome, Italy; 4 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Translational Medicine, PhD Course in Translational Medicine and Oncology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy;


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INTRODUCTION: Vulvar cancer accounts for ~4% of all gynaecological malignancies and the majority of tumours (>90%) are squamous cell (keratanising, ~60% and warty/basaloid, ~30%). Surgical excision forms the foundation of treatment, with resection margin status being the single most influential factor when predicting clinical outcome. There has been a paradigm shift concerning surgical approaches and radicality when manging vulvar cancer within recent times, largely owing to a desire to preserve vulvar structure and function without compromising oncological outcome. As such the safety of the size of resection margin has been called into question. In this narrative review we consider the current literature on the safety of resection margins for vulvar cancer.
METHODS: PubMed, Medline and the Cochrane Database were searched for original peer-reviewed primary and review articles, from January 2005 to January 2020. The following search terms were used vulvar cancer surgery, vulvar squamous cell carcinoma, excision margins, adjuvant radiation.
CONCLUSIONS: A surgical resection margin of 2-3mm does not appear to be associated with a higher rate of local recurrence than the widely used limit of 8mm. As such the traditional practice of reexcision or adjuvant radiotherapy on the basis of ‘close’ surgical margins alone needs to be closely evaluated, since the attendant morbidity associated with these procedures may not be outweighed by oncological benefit.


KEY WORDS: Vulvar cancer; Margins safe; Vulvar surgery

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