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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 24-31

Molecular biology of epithelial ovarian cancer

Dept. of Biochemistry, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
N Singh
Dept. of Biochemistry, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Ovarian cancer is one the most fatal gynaecological cancer because most cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage. 90 percent of malignant ovarian tumours arise by transformation of surface epithelium affected by ovulation. The development and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is correlated with various biological and molecular factors. These include over expression of various oncogenes, mutation of tumour suppressor genes, inappropriate expression of growth factors and/or their receptors, cytokines and genetic alterations that disrupt proliferation, apoptosis, senescence and DNA repair. These events, along with the inherent ability of epithelial cells to undergo proliferation, increase their chance of mutation, and their ability to produce cytokines and growth factors, could in turn promote oncogenesis. Subversion of host anti tumour immune response may also play a role in the pathogenesis. Approximately 10 percent of EOC arise in women who have inherited mutations in cancer susceptibility genes BRCA 1 or BRCA-2, but the vast majority of EOC are sporadic, resulting from the accumulation of genetic damage over a lifetime.

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