Eight patients with locally advanced vulvar cancer that would have necessitated pelvic exenteration to encompass the primary tumor were given preoperative radiation therapy in an attempt to shrink the primary tumor and allow more conservative surgery. From 4400 to 5400 rad of external radiation were delivered to the primary tumor, and one patient received an additional 2400 rad from intracavitary therapy. Satisfactory shrinkage of tumor occurred in seven of the eight patients (87.5%), thus allowing conservative surgical excision. In four patients (50%), there was no viable tumor in the surgical specimen. Moist desquamation of the vulva occurred in all patients and was of sufficient severity to require temporary cessation of radiation in four patients (50%). Five received groin radiation, and one (20%) subsequently developed bilateral hip fractures. No other major morbidity occurred. Five of the eight patients (62.5%) are alive without evidence of disease at intervals ranging from 15 months to 10 years. Preoperative radiation in this group obviated the need for pelvic exenteration, resulting in significantly less morbidity without compromising survival.
View details for Web of Science ID A1984TQ49900002
View details for PubMedID 6488136