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Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Journal: British Journal of Cancer
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Research Article
Identifiers:pmc:PMC2033586
Tumours of the vulva and vagina are rare and there are relatively few studies of circulating markers in these conditions. The urinary measurement of the core fragment of the beta-subunit of hCG has been proposed as a useful tumour marker in non-trophoblastic gynaecological malignancies. This study describe the measurement of urinary beta-core in 50 patients with vulvovaginal malignancy. In contrast to other studies corrections were made for both the effect of urine concentration and the age of the patient. Each patient was followed up for at least 24 months, and at this time their status was correlated with their initial level of urinary beta-core. The sensitivity of beta-core was only 38%, but of those patients with elevated levels 90% had died within 24 months, while only 32% of those with normal levels had died. For both patients at initial presentation and those with recurrent disease, there was a highly significant difference in the survival curve between those with elevated beta-core levels and those with normal levels. This is similar to findings in cervical carcinoma, and suggests that for lower genital tract cancer the measurement of urinary beta-core may be valuable as a prognostic indicator, allowing a more informed approach to treatment and follow-up.

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