Work funded by Ovarian Cancer Research Fund has shown that the high-grade serous ovarian cancer arises in the fallopian tube of mice that lack two specific genes. The report appeared online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Little is known about how ovarian cancer starts and spreads. Recent research has suggested that the fallopian tube is the site of origin for high-grade serous ovarian cancer, the most deadly subtype of the disease. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, including OCRF grantees Martin Matzuk and Shannon Hawkins, deleted two genes, Dicer and Pten, from mice. In these mice, tumors arose from the fallopian tube, spread to the ovary and metastasized throughout the abdomen. Mice that had their ovaries removed still developed cancer, but mice without fallopian tubes did not; this confirms that the fallopian tube was in fact the origin of the cancer.
The authors of the study hope that this research can shed new light on the origins and progression of this disease. Martin Matzuk, PhD, who is senior author of the study, commented that he hopes the mouse model “will help us translate this information into direct patient care, changing the way we screen, diagnose, and treat this deadliest form of ‘ovarian’ cancer.”
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