The following article features coverage from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology 2020 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Results of a large prospective observational study that followed women with early-stage squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the vulva characterized by a negative sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLN) at the time of surgery showed these patients to have a low risk of recurrent disease in the groin. These findings were accepted for presentation at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer and released on March 28, 2020.

Over a decade ago, the multicenter, observational Groningen International Study on Sentinel Nodes in Vulvar Cancer (GROINSS-V) study showed that omission of inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy in 259 women with early-stage vulvar cancer characterized by a negative SLN was safe, with a 2.3% rate of recurrent disease in the groin at a median follow-up of 35 months.1

In this study ( Identifier: NCT01500512), which was designed to evaluate the safety of radiation with or without chemotherapy in women with early-stage SCC of the vulva (4 cm or less) with a positive SLN, patients with a negative SLN were followed for up to 2 years without receiving additional treatment.

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Of the 1522 patients included in this analysis, the SLN was negative in 1222 (78.7%). In this latter group, the rate of isolated groin metastases was 3.1% (ie, 38 of 1222 patients). However, protocol violations, such as incomplete removal of all sentinel lymph nodes, tumors larger than 4 cm, and incomplete treatment of the groin, were identified in 6 of these patients. Following exclusion of the patients with protocol violations, the adjusted rate of isolated groin metastases was 2.7%.

In their concluding remarks, the study authors noted that this study includes “the largest prospective series of SLN-negative vulvar cancer patients ever reported” and that the results were “comparable to the data of our first GROINSS-V study.”

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of SGO 2020 by visiting the conference page.


  1. Slomovitz B, Oonk M, Monk BJ, et al. Validation of sentinel lymph biopsy in patients with early stage vulvar cancer: A prospective trial of 1552 women (GROINSV2/GOG270). Submitted to: Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. Abstract 2.
  2. Van der Zee AG, Oonk MH, De Hullu JA, et al. Sentinel node dissection is safe in the treatment of early-stage vulvar cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:884-889.