Chemotherapy Instead of Surgery

Advanced vulvar cancer case response to platinum based chemotherapy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) The normal surgical treatment for advanced vulvar cancer can be just awful. In addition to removing the tissues that make up the vulva, along with nearby lymph nodes, some organs might also be removed. Now researchers think that surgery may not be the only answer.

In a case study involving only one middle-aged woman with advanced vulvar cancer, researchers found that chemotherapy produced a complete response.

"Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion."

Researchers at Wayne State University were led by Jimmy Belotte, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

The woman in this study had been living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) for 10 years. She was newly diagnosed with squamous carcinoma of the vulva.

This is the most common type of vulvar cancer, which is diagnosed in about 4,500 American women every year.

The patient underwent nine rounds of platinum-based combination chemotherapy.

There were no signs of the cancer after this treatment, and she remained in complete remission for two years (24 months) following her last round of chemotherapy.

Based on the results of this single case, the authors wrote, " Platinum-based combination chemotherapy may be used successfully for patients with advanced-stage squamous carcinoma of the vulva."

This research was published in the August issue of Obstetrics Gynecology.

No financial information was publicly available.

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Review Date: 
August 11, 2012
Last Updated:
January 2, 2014