Objectives. To update, assimilate, and bridge the contemporary literature on vulvar and cutaneous melanoma regarding diagnosis, staging, and therapy to provide a useful clinical reference for managing and counseling for affected patients.
Materials and Methods. A computerized search for reports in the literature up to June 2003 was carried out using PubMed and MEDLINE databases. Multidisciplinary involvement was used in evaluating the available data and formulating conclusions.
Results. More than 300 reports were reviewed. Diagnosis, staging, and therapy aspects of vulvar melanoma are summarized.
Conclusions. Vulvar melanoma represents a subtype of cutaneous melanoma, with similar prognostic and staging factors. The most recent American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system for cutaneous melanoma is applicable to vulvar melanoma. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is reliable for staging the regional lymph node basin for vulvar melanoma. Standardized documentation of clinical and histopathologic parameters is needed to standardize grouping of cases for future comparison studies.