alexa The Association between Endometriomas and Ovarian Cancer: Preventive Effect of Inhibiting Ovulation and Menstruation during Reproductive Life
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology

Author(s): Giovanni Grandi, Angela Toss

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Although endometriosis frequently involves multiple sites in the pelvis, malignancies associated with this disease are mostly confined to the ovaries, evolving from an endometrioma. Endometriomas present a 2-3-fold increased risk of transformation in clear-cell, endometrioid, and possibly low-grade serous ovarian cancers, but not in mucinous ovarian cancers. These last cancers are, in some aspects, different from the other epithelial ovarian cancers, as they do not appear to be decreased by the inhibition of ovulation and menstruation. The step by step process of transformation from typical endometrioma, through atypical endometrioma, finally to ovarian cancer seems mainly related to oxidative stress, inflammation, hyperestrogenism, and specific molecular alterations. Particularly, activation of oncogenic KRAS and PI3K pathways and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes PTEN and ARID1A are suggested as major pathogenic mechanisms for endometriosis associated clear-cell and endometrioid ovarian cancer. Both the risk for endometriomas and their associated ovarian cancers seems to be highly and similarly decreased by the inhibition of ovulation and retrograde menstruation, suggesting a common pathogenetic mechanism and common possible preventive strategies during reproductive life.

This article was published in BioMed Research International and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology

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