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Rhabdomyosarcoma of the lower female genital tract: an analysis of 144 cases

  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Published:
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics Aims and scope Submit manuscript



The aim of the present study was to elucidate the clinico-pathological characteristics of female patients with lower genital tract rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) stratified by age group and investigate their prognosis, using a multi-institutional database.


The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was accessed (1973–2013) and a cohort of females diagnosed with RMS of the lower genital tract (vulva, vagina, cervix) was drawn. Five-year overall survival (OS) rate was estimated following generation of Kaplan–Meier curves and compared with the log-rank test.


A total of 144 eligible cases were identified; 51.4 and 48.6% originated from the vagina/vulva and the cervix, respectively. Median patient age was 16 years and distant metastases were rare (ten cases). The majority of tumors were of embryonal histology (75.7%). Non-embryonal RMS was more prevalent in the older patient groups. Tumors originating from the cervix were more common among adolescents and premenopausal women. Rate of LN involvement was 52.9 and 20% for vulvovaginal and cervical tumors (p = 0.02). Five-year OS rate was 68.4%; factors associated with better OS were younger age, absence of distant metastasis, embryonal histology, negative LNs, and performance of surgery. For prepubertal girls and adolescents, radical surgery did not confer a survival benefit compared to local tumor excision.


RMS of the lower genital tract primarily affects prepubertal girls and adolescents, who have excellent survival rates; however, outcomes for adults remain poor.

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Authors and Affiliations



DN (Protocol/project development, data collection and management, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing), MA (Protocol/project development, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing, EC-D (Protocol/project development, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing), SW (Protocol/project development, manuscript writing/editing), KH (Protocol/project development, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing).

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Correspondence to Dimitrios Nasioudis.

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The authors declare no source of funding for the research.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no potential conflict of interest, including and financial or personal relationship which could viewed as one.

Ethical standards

The SEER is a public dataset available to the public for research purpose. All patient data are de-identified.

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Nasioudis, D., Alevizakos, M., Chapman-Davis, E. et al. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the lower female genital tract: an analysis of 144 cases. Arch Gynecol Obstet 296, 327–334 (2017).

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