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Interventions for the treatment of Paget’s disease of the vulva

Lookup NU author(s): Andrew Bryant


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© 2019 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Background This is an updated version of the original Cochrane Review published in Issue 10, 2013. Extramammary Paget’s disease is a rare form of superficial skin cancer. The most common site of involvement is the vulva. It is seen mainly in postmenopausal white women. Paget’s disease of the vulva often spreads in an occult fashion, with margins extending beyond the apparent edges of the lesion. There is a range of interventions fromsurgical to non-invasive techniques or treatments. The challenges of interventions are to remove or treat disease that may not be visible, without overtreatment and with minimisation of morbidity from radical surgery. There is little consensus regarding treatment. Surgery, by default, is the most common treatment, but it is challenging to excise the disease adequately, and recurrence is common, leading to repeated operations, and destruction of anatomy. Alternative treatments of photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, radiotherapy, topical treatments or even chemotherapy have been mooted, and it is important to evaluate the available evidence. It is essential to assess whether newer cell-specific treatments, such as photodynamic therapy and imiquimod, can reduce the need for radical surgery. Objectives To evaluate the benefits and harms of different treatment modalities for the management of Paget’s disease of the vulva. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE (via Ovid) and Embase (via Ovid) up to 8 May 2018. We also searched registers of clinical trials, abstracts of scientific meetings and reference lists of review articles. Selection criteria We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and well-designed non-randomised studies that compared different interventions in women with Paget’s disease of the vulva, Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently assessed whether potentially relevant studies met the inclusion criteria. We found no trials and, therefore, analysed no data. Main results The search for the original version of the review identified 635 unique references. We found 31 references (which reported on 30 studies) in full text after inspection of titles and abstracts, but we excluded them all as they did not meet the inclusion criteria. However, we have included a comprehensive narrative account of studies where we identified an analysis of more than 10 women, as this forms the only evidence base in this rare disease. Surgery continues to be the mainstay of treatment in the current literature, with other treatments limited to case reports or treatment of inoperable or recurrent disease. This update between September 2013 and May 2018 identified 35 new studies. None of these met the inclusion criteria. There was only one prospective study of 5% imiquimod in recurrent Paget’s disease of the vulva, which although of good quality only included eight women. Authors’ conclusions Since the last version of the review was published there are many more cases in the literature reporting a clinical response to 5% imiquimod cream. There is one prospective study of eight women treated with 5%imiquimod for recurrent Paget’s disease of the vulva, and one prospective trial of 20 women was due to be reported. This increasing evidence for the safety and efficacy of 5% imiquimod will be helpful for women and clinicians alike. Ideally, a multicentre RCT of reasonable size is needed, but ongoing publications of high-quality non-randomised prospective studies will enhance the current available literature.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Edey KA, Allan E, Murdoch JB, Cooper S, Bryant A

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Year: 2019

Volume: 2019

Issue: 6

Online publication date: 05/06/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (electronic): 1469-493X

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009245.pub3