New Clues on the Origins of Ovarian Cancer

(August 30, 2018) Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have found new clues to the origin of high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC). The majority of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have HGSC, and up to 90 percent of those cases go undetected and undiagnosed until the cancer has spread. Previous studies showed the fallopian tubes removed from healthy women sometimes showed signs of early cancers, yet many women with ovarian cancer had no sign of it in their fallopian tubes.

In a new study published recently in the Journal of Pathology, researchers looked at what they thought were non-cancerous fallopian tubes from patients with HGSC. They found that the normal appearing tubes can contain pre-cancerous cells, called “early serous proliferations (ESPs),” that may escape the tubes, later progressing to cancer in the pelvic or abdominal cavity.

More details are available on the Brigham and Women’s website.