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Targeted Therapeutic Approaches in Vulvar Squamous Cell Cancer (VSCC): Case Series and Review of the Literature

Linn Woelber*1, Sabrina Mathey*1, Katharina Prieske*†, Sascha Kuerti*, Christoph Hillen*, Eike Burandt, Anja Coym§, Volkmar Mueller*, Barbara Schmalfeldt*, Anna Jaeger*

* Department of Gynecology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
† Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Center HaTriCS4, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
‡ Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
§ Center for Oncology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

Oncology Research 2020, 28(6), 645-659. https://doi.org/10.3727/096504020X16076861118243

Abstract

Therapeutic options in recurrent or metastasized vulvar squamous cell cancer (VSCC) not amenable to radiotherapy or radical surgery are limited. Evidence for the use of targeted therapies is sparse. All patients with VSCC treated at the Gynecological Cancer Center Hamburg-Eppendorf 2013–2019 were retrospectively evaluated for targeted therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, a MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, and OVID database search was performed using the terms: “vulvar cancer” AND “targeted therapy,” “erlotinib,” “EGFR,” “bevacizumab,” “VEGF,” “pembrolizumab,” or “immunotherapy.” Twelve of 291 patients (4.1%) with VSCC received at least one targeted therapy at our institution. Previously, one or more platinumbased chemotherapy was applied to all patients [median 3.5 previous lines (range 2–5)]. In the erlotinib subgroup, two of five patients (40%) achieved stable disease (SD), while two patients (2/5, 40%) experienced partial response (PR). Treatment was given as monotherapy in second/third line for a median of 3.4 months (range 2–6 months). Bevacizumab (n = 9) was given as maintenance therapy after platinum-based first-line chemotherapy (9/9); best response was complete response (CR) (n = 2/9 22.2%). Median duration of treatment was 7 months (range 4–13 months) with two patients still under ongoing treatment. Best response in the pembrolizumab (n = 3) subset was SD (n = 1/3 33%). Treatment was given as monotherapy in second/third line for a median of 3.3 months (range 3–4 months). Nine of 12 patients (75%) experienced treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs), most commonly grade 1/2. Rapidly evolving antibody treatments have proven clinical benefit especially in HPV-driven tumor entities; however, clinical investigations in VSCC are still limited. These reported cases provide evidence for the clinical utility and feasibility while ensuring an acceptable safety profile.

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Woelber, L., Mathey, S., Prieske, K., Kuerti, S., Hillen, C. et al. (2020). Targeted Therapeutic Approaches in Vulvar Squamous Cell Cancer (VSCC): Case Series and Review of the Literature. Oncology Research, 28(6), 645–659.



cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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