Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Vaginal Cancer: The Experience From 2 Large Academic Centers During a 15-Year Period

Gunderson, Camille C. MD1; Nugent, Elizabeth K. MD1; Yunker, Amanda C. DO, MSCR1; Rocconi, Rodney P. MD2; Graybill, Whitney S. MD2; Erickson, Britt K. MD2; Moore, Kathleen N. MD, MS1

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2013 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 409–413
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e3182800ee2
Original Articles

Objective Limited data regarding the natural history, management, and prognosis of vaginal cancer exist owing to the relative disease rarity.

Materials and Methods A retrospective chart review was performed at 2 institutions to identify women receiving treatment for vaginal cancer between 1990 and 2004. Demographics, risk factors, histology, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage, treatment, and treatment-related complications were recorded. Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) version 9.2 was used.

Results A total of 110 patients were identified in the 2 university databases. Median age was 63 years (range = 36–93 years), and 84% were white; 73% had squamous cell carcinoma, 40% were ever users of tobacco, and 64% had no abnormal Pap smear results. Of the patients, 83% had early-stage (I or II) disease. Treatment varied by stage with increasing use of radiation with advancing stage. Recurrence was 24%, 32%, and 53% for stage I, II, and III/IV disease, respectively. After a median follow-up of 21 months, progression-free survival was 59, 35, and 23 months for stage I, II, and III/IV disease, respectively. Overall survival was 106, 58, and 34 months for stage I, II, and III/IV disease, respectively. Age greater than 60 years (p = .0339; hazard ratio [HR] = 2.162), advanced stage (p = .0004; HR = 2.475), and tobacco use (p = .0004; HR = 1.02) were negatively associated with survival. Thirty percent developed a significant complication (fistula, stricture, cystitis, or proctitis), and 21% developed a vesicovaginal and/or rectovaginal fistula. There was no association of fistula development with age, stage, tobacco use, histological finding, or treatment history (including radiation therapy).

Conclusions Age, stage, and tobacco abuse seem to be negatively associated with survival in vaginal cancer. However, no risk factors were associated with fistula development.

Vaginal cancer is a rare malignancy associated with high morbidity and poor prognosis.

1Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK; and 2Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Reprint requests to: Camille Gunderson, MD, 800 NE 10th St, Suite 5050, Oklahoma City, OK 73104. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology