Incessant ovulation, inflammation and epithelial ovarian carcinogenesis: Revisiting old hypotheses

Jean S. Fleming, Clare R. Beaugié, Izhak Haviv, Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Olivia L. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is often a lethal disease because in many cases early symptoms go undetected. Although research proceeds apace, as yet there are few reliable and specific biomarkers for the early stages of the disease. EOC is an umbrella label for a highly heterogeneous collection of cancers, which includes tumours of low malignant potential, serous cystadenomas, mucinous and clear cell carcinomas, all of which are likely to arise from a number of epithelial cell types and a variety of progenitor lesions. Many, but not all types of EOC are thought to arise from the cells lining ovarian inclusion cysts. In this review, we discuss the hypotheses that have driven our ideas on epithelial ovarian carcinogenesis and examine the morphological and genetic evidence for pathways to EOC. The emergence of laser-capture microdissection and expression profiling by microarray technologies offers the promise of defining these pathways more accurately, as well as providing us with the tools for earlier diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Volume247
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are indebted to the technical expertise of H. James McQuillan and Melanie Richardson (Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology, University of Otago, New Zealand). They also acknowledge the work of Naomi Armanasco (Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology, University of Otago, New Zealand) on the effects of talc on the mouse ovary. Research on incessant ovulation of mouse ovaries was supported by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board (Health), the HS & JC Anderson Trust (Otago, New Zealand) and the University of Otago.

Keywords

  • Epithelial ovarian cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Ovarian inclusion cyst
  • Ovulation

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