Purpose: Primary vulvar melanoma (PVM) is the second most common vulvar malignancy. Despite their distinct anatomic site and unique molecular–genetic alterations, PVMs are staged according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) guidelines for primary cutaneous melanomas (PCM). However, whether parameters derived for PCM also apply to PVM remain a critical yet largely unexplored clinical question. The objective of this study was to determine the parameters predictive of survival in PVM.
Experimental Design: We retrospectively reviewed 100 patients with PVM and determined associations between clinical and histopathologic parameters and disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS).
Results: Univariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated older age (>56 years), greater tumor thickness, higher dermal mitotic rate, ulceration, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, microscopic satellitosis, and absence of precursor nevus associated with decreased OS. Furthermore, age, midline, and/or multifocal involvement, greater tumor thickness, higher dermal mitotic rate, ulceration, lack of regression, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and microscopic satellitosis associated with decreased DSS. Multivariate analysis demonstrated tumor thickness, dermal mitotic rate, lymphovascular invasion, microscopic satellitosis, and absence of precursor nevus independently predicted shorter OS. Only tumor thickness and increased dermal mitotic rate (≥2/mm2) independently predicted reduced DSS. In comparison with the AJCC T-category, a novel, bivariate T-category based only on tumor thickness and dermal mitotic rate robustly predicted OS and DSS in our patient cohort.
Conclusions: In the largest single institutional study of PVM, we demonstrate a combination of tumor thickness and mitotic rate comprise a simple but robust T-category to direct staging and prognosis. Clin Cancer Res; 23(8); 2093–104. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received August 29, 2016.
- Revision received October 27, 2016.
- Accepted November 11, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.