Clonal analysis favours a monoclonal origin for serous borderline tumours with peritoneal implants

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Serous borderline tumours (SBTs) of the ovary were originally classified as such because the vast majority behave in a remarkably indolent manner, even in the presence of widespread tumour deposits, termed implants, and/or lymph node involvement. The pathogenesis of the implants is currently unknown. Two major hypotheses have been proposed: the first favours a monoclonal origin, arguing that the peritoneal lesions derive from neoplastic cells that are shed from the primary ovarian tumour. The second hypothesis favours a polyclonal origin as a result of a field defect of susceptible Müllerian cells from which multiple independent tumours arise. To test both hypotheses, genome-wide allelotyping andB-RAF/K-RASmutation analyses were employed to assess clonality in 25 metachronous or synchronous tumours from ten SBT patients. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) profiling andK-RAS/B-RAFmutation analysis showed concordance of the genetic changes in all sites in 21 tumours from eight patients who were informative. These results favour a common origin, underscored by a likelihood ratio (probability of common origin/probability of independent origin) ranging from 2.43 to 7 662 850. In conclusion, this study strongly supports the hypothesis that both non-invasive and invasive implants arise as a consequence of spread from a single ovarian site.

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