Endometriosis and ovarian cancer: Links, risks, and challenges faced

Mary Ellen Pavone*, Brianna M. Lyttle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Endometriosis is a benign gynecological condition characterized by specifc histological, molecular, and clinical fndings. It affects 5%–10% of premenopausal women, is a cause of infertility, and has been implicated as a precursor for certain types of ovarian cancer. Advances in technology, primarily the ability for whole genome sequencing, have led to the discovery of new mutations and a better understanding of the function of previously identifed genes and pathways associated with endometriosis associated ovarian cancers (EAOCs) that include PTEN, CTNNB1 (β-catenin), KRAS, microsatellite instability, ARID1A, and the unique role of infam-mation in the development of EAOC. Clinically, EAOCs are associated with a younger age at diagnosis, lower stage and grade of tumor, and are more likely to occur in premenopausal women when compared with other ovarian cancers. A shift from screening strategies adopted to prevent EAOCs has resulted in new recommendations for clinical practice by national and international governing bodies. In this paper, we review the common histologic and molecular characteristics of endometriosis and ovarian cancer, risks associated with EAOCs, clinical challenges and give recommendations for providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-672
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Clinical
  • Infammation
  • Molecular
  • Pathways
  • Premenopausal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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