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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 932371, 13 pages
Review Article

Ovarian Cancer Pathogenesis: A Model in Evolution

1Department of Medical Oncology, Center for Molecular Oncologic Pathology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 1 June 2009; Accepted 23 June 2009

Academic Editor: Tian-Li Wang

Copyright © 2010 Alison M. Karst and Ronny Drapkin. 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 a deadly disease for which there is no effective means of early detection. Ovarian carcinomas comprise a diverse group of neoplasms, exhibiting a wide range of morphological characteristics, clinical manifestations, genetic alterations, and tumor behaviors. This high degree of heterogeneity presents a major clinical challenge in both diagnosing and treating ovarian cancer. Furthermore, the early events leading to ovarian carcinoma development are poorly understood, thus complicating efforts to develop screening modalities for this disease. Here, we provide an overview of the current models of ovarian cancer pathogenesis, highlighting recent findings implicating the fallopian tube fimbria as a possible site of origin of ovarian carcinomas. The ovarian cancer model will continue to evolve as we learn more about the genetics and etiology of this disease.