Research by a team of scientists funded by OCRF has shown that there is an association between invasive ovarian cancer and endometriosis. The research was reported on February 22nd in Lancet Oncology.
The Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, a collaborative created with the support of OCRF and led by grantee Dr. Andrew Berchuck, conducted an analysis of data from 13 case control studies to determine the association between ovarian cancer risk and endometriosis. They found that there is an association between ovarian cancer risk and endometriosis, but that this association is restricted to specific subtypes.
Based on their evidence, the study authors write that “endometriosis should be thought of as a precursor lesion for clear-cell and endometrioid ovarian cancers, whereas the type of association with low-grade serous ovarian cancers requires further follow-up.” Furthermore, the authors hope that the findings can be helpful to clinicians, and that further research will lead to the development of “a risk stratification model that combines genetic and epidemiological risk to better stratify women into high-risk, intermediate-risk, and low-risk categories, allowing better individualization of prevention and early detection approaches such as risk-reduction surgery and screening.”
Ovarian cancer is increasingly being looked at as a collection of separate diseases, each with their own cause and risk profile. The authors conclude that “a better understanding of the cause of the various disease subsets is necessary if we hope to develop better prevention, screening, and treatment approaches for this heterogeneous disease.”