The Genetic Etiology of Sporadic Ovarian Cancer
Epithelial ovarian cancer is known to be the deadliest gynecologic malignancy and is a leading cause of cancer death in women. Genetic alterations disrupt regulation of proliferation, programmed cell death, and senescence thus causing malignant transformation of a normal ovarian epithelial cell. Ovarian cancers exhibit a high degree of genetic disruption significantly evident at both the chromosomal and molecular levels. The vast majority of tumors resulting from the accumulation of genetic damage over the course of a lifetime is referred to as sporadic cancers. This chapter illustrates the genetic etiology of sporadic ovarian cancer. Initial phases of the human genome project have provided the framework for studies that lead to an increase in understanding of the complex ovarian cancer. Significant advances in research can lead to the development of new approaches to early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention that will ultimately decrease ovarian cancer mortality.