J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2022 Oct 24. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000712. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Small cell carcinoma of the vagina (SmCCV) is an extremely rare disease. Evidence-based data and specific guidelines are lacking. We conducted the first systematic review of case reports to provide the most overall picture of SmCCV.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Literature search in PubMed and Scopus was performed using the terms “small cell carcinoma” and “vagina.” English-language case reports of primary SmCCV up to January 2022 were included.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine articles describing 44 cases met our inclusion criteria. We report a new case of our hospital. The global median overall survival (mOS) was 12.00 months (95% CI = 9.31-14.69). The mOS was not reached for stage I, and it was 12.00, 12.00, 9.00, and 8.00 months for stages II, III, IVA, and IVB, respectively (statistically significant differences between stage I and stages II, III, or IVA [log rank p = .003-.017]). Thirty-five cases received local treatments (77.8%). The mOS of patients treated with surgery ± complementary chemotherapy, radiotherapy ± complementary chemotherapy, chemoradiation ± complementary chemotherapy, and surgery + radiotherapy ± complementary chemotherapy were 11.00, 12.00, 17.00, and 29.00 months, respectively. The use of adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy (64.5%, mostly platinum + etoposide) showed longer mOS (77.00 vs 15.00 months). Four of 5 tested cases presented human papillomavirus infection, 3 of them presenting type 18.
CONCLUSIONS: Small cell carcinoma of the vagina shows dismal prognosis. Multimodal local management plus complementary chemotherapy seems to achieve better outcomes. Human papillomavirus could be related to the development of SmCCV. A diagnostic-therapeutic algorithm is proposed.