Summary: The clinical staging of carcinoma of the vulva is a predictor of patient survival; however, the significance of other prognostic factors remains somewhat controversial. Length of survival after diagnosis of invasive squamous cell carcinoma was determined for 39 clinically staged and surgically treated patients who were followed at our institution. Clinical stage, tumor type, use of radiotherapy (RT), histopathologic features (invasive pattern, depth of invasion, lymph node status, nuclear grade, adjacent dysplasia, desmoplasia, inflammation) and DNA ploidy (determined by flow cytometry from paraffin-embedded tissue) were evaluated as predictors of survival. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated for strata defined by each of the various predictors and compared using the log-rank test. Advanced stage (p = 0.0002), RT use (p = 0.0004), “spray” invasive pattern (p = 0.005), positive lymph node status (p = 0.001), increased positive lymph node number (p = 0.016), and greater depth of invasion (p = 0.039) were associated univariantly with decreased survival time. Spray invasive pattern (p = 0.018), positive lymph node status (p = 0.030), positive lymph node number (p = 0.040), and RT use (p = 0.045) continued to be associated with decreased survival time after controlling for stage. Of the significant factors, invasive pattern stands out as a qualitative feature that may have potential benefit in predicting survival independent of clinical stage in patients with vulvar carcinoma.
©1996International Society of Gynecological Pathologists