The biology of ovarian cancer.
Recent studies have begun to elucidate the molecular events involved in the development of ovarian cancer. First, it has been shown that epithelial ovarian cells both produce and have receptors for many peptide growth factors. It is possible that these growth factors may participate in autocrine and paracrine growth-regulatory pathways in these cells. Increased activity of stimulatory factors, eg, transforming growth factor-alpha, or decreased activity of inhibitor factors, eg, transforming growth factor-beta, may facilitate malignant transformation. In addition, it has been shown that ovarian cancer cells often have acquired the ability to degrade extracellular matrix and invade the underlying tissues. Finally, alterations in several oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes, including HER2/neu, c-myc, and p53, have been found in ovarian cancers. Although exciting insights into the molecular pathology of ovarian cancer have been gained, we remain far from a comprehensive understanding of the biology of this highly lethal disease.
Boente, MP; Hurteau, J; Rodriguez, GC; Bast, RC; Berchuck, A
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