Low grade serous ovarian cancer – A rare disease with increasing therapeutic options

Tibor A. Zwimpfer*, Ori Tal, Franziska Geissler, Ricardo Coelho, Natalie Rimmer, Francis Jacob, Viola Heinzelmann-Schwarz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


High-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOCs) most commonly arise from the fimbrial end of the fallopian tube and harbor TP53 gene mutations. In contrast, low-grade serous ovarian cancers (LGSOCs) appear to have different pathological, epidemiological, and clinical features and should be seen as a distinct serous epithelial ovarian cancer subtype. Our current understanding of LGSOC is limited, and treatment has generally been derived from the more common HGSOCs due to a lack of separate trial data. LGSOCs are characterized by slow tumor growth and are assumed to develop from serous borderline ovarian tumors as precursors. These cancers are often estrogen-receptor positive and show an activated mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway together with KRAS and BRAF mutations and, rarely, TP53 mutations. These characteristics are now commonly used to guide therapeutical decision making and, consequently, a substantial part of treatment consists of maintenance with endocrine treatment, thus balancing disease stabilization and mild toxicity. Additionally, new trials are ongoing that examine the role of targeted therapies such as MEK inhibitors in combination with endocrine treatments. The purpose of this work is to summarize current knowledge and present ongoing trial efforts for LGSOCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102497
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • BRAF inhibitors
  • CDK 4/6
  • ER
  • Endocrine treatment
  • KRAS
  • MEK inhibitors


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