Lack of Guidelines Cause Vulvar/Vaginal Melanoma Treatment Challenges

Annelise Wilhite, MD, a gynecology oncology fellow at the University of South Alabama Health, discusses the difficulty in treating vulvar and vaginal melanomas.

Annelise Wilhite, MD, a gynecology oncology fellow at the University of South Alabama Health, discusses the difficulty in treating vulvar and vaginal melanomas.

According to Wilhite, vulvar and vaginal melanoma is a rare disease, accounting for 1% of melanomas.

Due to its rarity, there are no specific therapy guidelines. So, while it is a different disease from cutaneous melanoma, guidelines for treatment mimic that disease. According to Wilhite, while there is an understanding on the differences between those 2 disease, there is not really a sense on how that difference affects therapy.

0:08 | Vulvar and vaginal melanoma has always been a rare disease. It accounts for 1% of melanomas. And because of this, there's no specific guidelines to therapy. So, although it is different than cutaneous melanoma, guidelines or treatment typically mimics that of cutaneous melanoma. And recently there's been developments to molecular testing. We've had a little bit of a better understanding of the differences between the two diseases, but we don't really have a great sense of how those can affect therapy.