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Minerva Ginecologica 2014 April;66(2):155-64

Copyright © 2014 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Ovarian cancer in endometriosis: clinical and molecular aspects

Lyttle B. 1, Bernardi L. 2, Pavone M. E. 2

1 Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA; 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA


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Endometriosis is a gynecological condition characterized by specific histological, molecular and clinical findings, that affects 5-10% of premenopausal women and has been implicated as a precursor for certain types of ovarian cancer. Clinical studies of endometriosis associated ovarian cancer (EAOC) suggest that patients present at a young age with a lower stage and grade of tumor, and are more likely to be premenopausal than women with other ovarian cancers. However, when overall survival is compared between these types of ovarian cancers, there is no difference noted. In addition, EAOC tumors are more likely to be found with a concurrent diagnosis of cancer, most commonly endometrial. Advances in technology, primarily the ability for whole genome sequencing, have led to the discovery of new mutations and further understanding of previously identified genes and pathways associated with EAOCs including PTEN, CTNNB1 (beta-catenin), KRAS, microsatellite instability and ARID1A. This paper will review the most recent clinical and molecular advances in the association of endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

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mpavone@nmff.org