[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Japan has a lower incidence of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) than Western nations. To pin-point the reasons for this, we reviewed biopsy samples from all cases treated at Nagoya University Hospital over the past 33 years in order to investigate the background lesions for VSCC. Two of 36 VSCC patients had adjacent or coexisting lichen sclerosus (LS), 5 had squamous cell hyperplasia (SCH), and 16 had vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN). There were 8 cases in which these lesions were thought to be the origin of the VSCC, 1 in which keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (KSC) was seen in LS, 1 in which verrucous SCH was the origin, and 6 in which 4 basaloid carcinoma and 2 warty carcinoma developed from basaloid VIN and warty VIN, respectively. Although 8 other cases of keratinizing or non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinomas (NSC) coexisted with VIN NOS (not otherwise specified), differentiated VIN or basaloid VIN, we could not be histologically certain of the origin. Among 22 VSCC patients tested for HPV DNA, only an 84-year-old woman presenting a histological feature of KSC tested positive by in situ hybridization (ISH). It was considered that LS and SCH had little and VIN considerable capacity to cause the malignancy of VSCC. We surmise that in Japan the majority of squamous cell carcinoma is unrelated to HPV. One reason for the low incidence of VSCC is largely due to race; the homogeneous, monoethnic Japanese population, as well as the few cases of HPV-related VSCC.
Nagoya journal of medical science 12/2001; 64(3-4):109-21.