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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Ovarian serous carcinoma: recent concepts on its origin and carcinogenesis

Jie Li12, Oluwole Fadare3, Li Xiang12, Beihua Kong12* and Wenxin Zheng12456*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 107 W. Wenhua Road, Jinan, Shandong, China 250012

2 Department of Pathology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA

3 Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

5 Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

6 Department of Pathology, University of Arizona, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, #5224A, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:8  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-8

Published: 9 March 2012

Abstract

Recent morphologic and molecular genetic studies have led to a paradigm shift in our conceptualization of the carcinogenesis and histogenesis of pelvic (non-uterine) serous carcinomas. It appears that both low-grade and high-grade pelvic serous carcinomas that have traditionally been classified as ovarian in origin, actually originate, at least in a significant subset, from the distal fallopian tube. Clonal expansions of the tubal secretory cell probably give rise to serous carcinomas, and the degree of ciliated conversion is a function of the degree to which the genetic hits deregulate normal differentiation. In this article, the authors review the evidentiary basis for aforementioned paradigm shift, as well as its potential clinical implications.

Keywords:
Ovarian cancer; Fallopian tube; Carcinogenesis; Serous carcinoma; p53 signatures