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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010, Article ID 126295, 9 pages
Review Article

Precursor Lesions of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma: Morphological and Molecular Characteristics

1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
2Division of Gynecologic Pathology, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
3Department of Medical Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

Received 18 December 2009; Accepted 14 February 2010

Academic Editor: Tian-Li Wang

Copyright © 2010 Amy L. Gross et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The lack of proven screening tools for early detection and the high mortality of ovarian serous carcinoma (OSC), particularly high grade, have focused attention on identifying putative precursor lesions with distinct morphological and molecular characteristics. The finding of occult invasive and intraepithelial fallopian tube carcinomas in prophylactically removed specimens from asymptomatic high-risk BRCA 1/2-mutation carriers supports the notion of an origin for OSC in the fallopian tube. The intraepithelial carcinomas have been referred to as serous intraepithelial carcinomas (STICs) but our own findings (unpublished data) and recent reports have drawn attention to a spectrum of changes that fall short of STICs that we have designated serous tubal intraepithelial lesions (STILs).