To assess the outcome of patients with vulvar carcinoma unfit for surgery treated with radiotherapy for primary disease and for those with recurrent disease after primary surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study was conducted on 16 patients with primary disease and 31 with recurrent disease. RESULTS: An objective response and long-term control were obtained in 43.8% and 18.8% of patients with primary carcinoma. Median survival after primary radiotherapy was 15 months. An objective response and long-term control were achieved in 100% and 20% of the 15 patients with local recurrence. Only two out of the 13 patients with groin recurrence were recovered by salvage treatment, and all three patients with distant recurrence died of their disease. Median survival after relapse in the 31 patients was 33 months. CONCLUSION: Radiotherapy achieves unsatisfactory results in patients with primary vulvar carcinoma who are unfit for surgery as well as in those with recurrent disease after surgery.
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