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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010, Article ID 740968, 7 pages
Review Article

Molecular Abnormalities in Ovarian Cancer Subtypes Other than High-Grade Serous Carcinoma

Department of Pathology, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver 1st Floor JPPN, 855 West 12th Ave, Vanouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9

Received 10 July 2009; Accepted 16 September 2009

Academic Editor: Maurie M. Markman

Copyright © 2010 C. Blake Gilks. 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.


Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women in North America, and approximately two-thirds of cases of ovarian cancer are of high-grade serous type. The remaining cases are comprised of a mix of different tumor types (e.g., endometrioid, clear cell, mucinous, etc.), with no single tumor type accounting for more than 10% of ovarian cancer cases. These tumor types can be reproducibly diagnosed, and each features distinct underlying molecular events during oncogenesis, with a characteristic natural history and response rate to conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. In this review the molecular abnormalities present in the more common non-high-grade serous subtypes of ovarian cancer will be presented. Development of targeted therapies for these tumor types will require understanding of the genetic basis of each tumor type, and may lead to subtype-specific therapy.