ecancermedicalscience

Review

Endometriosis and endometriosis-associated cancers: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of ovarian cancer development

25 Jan 2018
Amy Dawson, Marta Llauradó Fernandez, Michael Anglesio, Paul J Yong, Mark S Carey

Endometriosis is a fascinating disease that we strive to better understand. Molecular techniques are shedding new light on many important aspects of this disease: from pathogenesis to the recognition of distinct disease variants like deep infiltrating endometriosis. The observation that endometriosis is a cancer precursor has now been strengthened with the knowledge that mutations that are present in endometriosis-associated cancers can be found in adjacent endometriosis lesions. Recent genomic studies, placed in context, suggest that deep infiltrating endometriosis may represent a benign neoplasm that invades locally but rarely metastasises. Further research will help elucidate distinct aberrations which result in this phenotype. With respect to identifying those patients who may be at risk of developing endometriosis-associated cancers, a combination of molecular, pathological, and inheritance markers may define a high-risk group that might benefit from risk-reducing strategies.

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