International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | 2019
Vulvar Melanoma: An Analysis of Prognostic Factors and Treatment Patterns
Objective: Melanoma comprises 5% to 10% of vulvar cancers and prognosis is poor. The purpose of this study was to identify prognostic factors and treatment patterns for vulvar melanoma using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Methods: The NCDB was queried for patients with invasive vulvar melanoma from 2004–2015. Descriptive statistics were generated to describe clinical and treatment details. Multivariable Cox regression and the Kaplan-Meier method were used to examine overall survival (OS). Results: 1,917 patients with vulvar melanoma met inclusion criteria. Median follow-up time was 32 months (range, 0–151 months). Older age, larger tumor size, advanced disease stage, increased Charlson-Deyo comorbidity score, and care at a non-academic center were independent predictors for decreased OS. Surgical management of the primary site, lymph node surgery, and insurance provided a significant survival benefit. Use of immunotherapy for vulvar melanoma has increased over time. Two-year OS with immunotherapy in patients with distant metastatic disease was higher, although this did not reach statistical significance (33% vs. 12%, p=0.054). Conclusions: Vulvar melanoma has a poor prognosis for those with regional and distant metastatic disease. Extent of disease, tumor size, and patient age are important prognostic factors. Other favorable factors included insurance and surgical management. The use of immunotherapy has increased over time and may improve survival in those with distant disease. These data support further investigation into the role of immunotherapy for vulvar melanoma to optimize outcomes.