What we do
About our project
The standard groin treatment in recurrent vulvar cancer consists of a unilateral or bilateral inguinal lymph node dissection. In the first episode, however, a sentinel lymph node (SLN) procedure is performed on unifocal tumours < 4cm without suspicious groin lymph nodes at imaging. This procedure is advantageous in that the short and long term sequelae-such as wound healing problems, lymph cyst formation, recurrent erysipelas and lymph oedema-are much less common. In a national retrospective analysis we showed that SLN is feasible in selected patients with recurrent vulvar cancer. We now aim to assess the safety of the procedure. Since little is known on the outcome of a first recurrence of vulvar cancer, we also gather more information on women with a first recurrence not eligible for the SLN procedure.
Execution of the project
This is a prospective, multicentre observational study, including all women with a first recurrence of vulvar cancer. Women with a unifocal tumour < 4cm without suspicious groin lymph nodes at imaging will be offered a SLN procedure. Data regarding diagnostic tests, surgery, outcome and treatment will be collected and analyzed. Special attention will be given to treatment decision and treatment regret and to lymph edema.
Impact on patient care
In the future, when a second SLN procedure is proven feasible and safe, the surgical treatment for recurrent vulvar cancer will have much less impact on the quality of life, similar to the effect of the SLN procedure in women with primary vulvar cancer.
Our research focus
This project complies with our aim to improve our surgical care: to provide the best possible outcome with the least impact on the quality of life of women affected.
Funds & Grants
This study is supported by the involved departments of the participating hospitals. KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society) has gifted a grant (KWF 2021-1/13292).
Collaboration within Erasmus MC
- Departments of Gynaecologic Oncology
- Department of Biostatistics
Collaboration outside of Erasmus MC
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, AMC, Amsterdam
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, LUMC, Leiden
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radboud University, Nijmegen
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UMCG, Groningen
van Doorn HC, van Beekhuizen HJ, Gaarenstroom KN, van der Velden J, van der Zee AG, Oonk MH, de Hullu JA. (2016). Gynecologic Oncology. 2016;140(3):415-9.
- Lena H. van Doorn, MD PhD, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam
- Heleen J van Beekhuizen, MD PhD, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam
- Joost M. van Rosmalen, PhD, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
- Guus Fons, MD PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, AMC, Amsterdam
- Katja N. Gaarenstroom, MD PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, LUMC, Leiden
- Joanne de Hullu, MD PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radboud University, Nijmegen
- Maaike H.M. Oonk, MD PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UMCG, Groningen