Taking the Tube: From Normal Fallopian Tube Epithelium to Ovarian High-grade Serous Carcinoma

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Abstract

Detailed pathologic studies over the past decade suggest a distal fallopian tube origin for the majority of “ovarian” high-grade serous carcinomas (HGSC). This review will summarize molecular alterations observed in tubal precursors for HGSC, namely p53 signatures and serous tubal intraepithelial carcinomas, and in nonmalignant fallopian tube epithelial cells obtained from women at increased genetic risk for HGSC. Recent experiments investigating the impact of follicular fluid exposure and retrograde menstruation on tumor development in the fallopian tube will also be discussed. These data will be reconciled with traditional ovarian cancer risk factors related to reproductive history.

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