New insights into the pathogenesis of serous ovarian cancer and its clinical impact

Keren Levanon, Christopher Crum, Ronny Drapkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are only a handful of concepts concerning cancer and carcinogenesis that are currently beyond dispute. One such dogma is the adenoma-carcinoma sequence and that a multistep accumulation of genetic alterations is required for transformation from a benign to a neoplastic tissue. The inevitable derivative of this dogma is that every invasive carcinoma is in fact a missed intraepithelial tumor, and furthermore, a late evolutionary stage in the sequence of development from a precursor lesion. Until fairly recently, high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma seemed to be one of the only known deviants of these concepts. In this article, we discuss the emergence of the fallopian tube fimbria as a field of origin for high-grade serous carcinomas and present a binary model of ovarian cancer pathogenesis that takes into consideration prior epidemiologic, morphologic, and genetic data. With the rise of the fallopian tube secretory epithelial cell as a cell of origin for high-grade pelvic serous carcinomas, the need to develop tools and model systems to characterize the biology and physiology of this cell is recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5284-5293
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number32
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


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