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Does "One Size Fits All"? Rethinking FIGO Depth of Invasion Measurements in Vulvar Cancer.

Depth of invasion (DOI) is an important diagnostic parameter in patients with vulvar carcinoma, where a cutoff value of 1 mm largely determines the tumor stage and the need for groin surgery. DOI measurement should be reproducible and straightforward. In light of the new recommendation on how to measure DOI in the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system 2021, an exploratory study was conducted on the current practice of DOI measurement in vulvar cancer. In this study of 26 selected cases, 10 pathologists with high exposure to vulvar cancer cases in daily practice assessed both the conventional (FIGO 2009) and alternative (FIGO 2021) DOI methods for applicability and preference. In this set of cases, the DOI measurement according to FIGO 2009 was generally considered easier to apply than the measurement according to FIGO 2021, with applicability being rated as "easy to reasonable" in 76.9% versus 38.5% of cases, respectively (P=0.005). The preferred method was FIGO 2009 or tumor thickness in 14 cases and FIGO 2021 in 6 cases. No invasion was preferred in 1 case. For the remaining 5 cases, half of the pathologists opted for the FIGO 2009 method and half for the FIGO 2021 method. Although the FIGO 2009 method proved to be more readily applicable in most of the cases studied, the method may differ for each case. There may not be a "one size fits all" solution for all cases of vulvar cancer.

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