Objective. There is great need for better risk stratification in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC). Our aim was to define the prognostic significance of stratifying VSCC based on p16 and p53 immunohistochemistry (IHC) as surrogate markers for HPV and TP53 mutations. Methods. A large retrospective cohort of surgically treated women with primary VSCC was used. VSCC were classified into three subtypes: HPV-positive (HPVpos), HPV-negative/p53 mutant (HPVneg/p53mut), and HPVnegative/p53 wildtype (HPVneg/p53wt). Overall survival (OS), relative survival (RS), and recurrence-free period (RFP) were depicted using the Kaplan-Meier method and survival curves for relative survival; associations were studied using univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazard models. Results. Of the 413 VSCCs, 75 (18%) were HPVpos, 63 (15%) HPVneg/p53wt, and 275 (66%) HPVneg/p53mut VSCC. Patients with HPVneg/p53mut VSCC had worse OS and RS (HR 3.43, 95%CI 1.80–6.53, and relative excess risk (RER) of 4.02; 95%CI 1.48–10.90, respectively, and worse RFP (HR 3.76, 95%CI 2.02–7.00). HPVpos VSCC patients showed most favorable outcomes. In univariate analysis, the molecular subtype of VSCC was a prognostic marker for OS, RS and RFP (p = 0.003, p = 0.009, p < 0.001, respectively) and remained prognostic for RFP even after adjusting for known risk factors (p = 0.0002). Conclusions. Stratification of VSCC by p16- and p53-IHC has potential to be used routinely in diagnostic pathology. It results in the identification of three clinically distinct subtypes and may be used to guide treatment and follow-up, and in stratifying patients in future clinical trials.

Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma, Human papillomavirus, p53, p16, TP53, Molecular classification, Prognosis
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.09.024, hdl.handle.net/1765/133722
Gynecologic Oncology
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Kortekaas, K.E., Bastiaannet, E, van Doorn, H.C, van Steenwijk, P.J., Ewing, P.C, Creutzberg, CL, … van Poelgeest, M.I.E. (2020). Vulvar cancer subclassification by HPV and p53 status results in three clinically distinct subtypes. Gynecologic Oncology, 159(3), 649–656. doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.09.024