To revise the FIGO staging for carcinoma of the vulva using a new approach that involves analyses of prospectively collected data. The FIGO Committee for Gynecologic Oncology reviewed the recent literature to gain an insight into the impact of the 2009 vulvar cancer staging revision. The Committee resolved to revise the staging with a goal of simplification and actively collaborated with the United States National Cancer Database to analyze prospectively collected data on carcinoma of the vulva. Many tumor characteristics were collected for all stages of vulvar cancer treated between 2010 and 2017. Statistical analysis was performed with SAS software. Overall survival was estimated based on tumor characteristics. Log-rank and Wilcoxon tests were used to analyze overall survival similarities between and within groups of tumor characteristics. Characteristics with similar survivals were then grouped into the same stages and substages. Kaplan-Meier overall survival curves were generated for the resulting stages and substages. There were 12 063 cases with available data. The resulting new staging for carcinoma of the vulva has two substages in Stage I, no substage in Stage II, three substages in Stage III, and two substages in Stage IV. The Kaplan-Meier overall survival curves showed clear separation between stages and substages. The 2021 vulvar cancer staging is the first from the FIGO Committee for Gynecologic Oncology to be derived from data analyses. This revision has a new definition for depth of invasion, uses the same definition for lymph node metastases utilized in cervical cancer, and allows findings from cross-sectional imaging to be incorporated into vulvar cancer staging. The 2021 FIGO staging for carcinoma of the vulva is data-derived, validated, and much simpler than earlier revisions.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet (International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics)
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