Etiology of ovarian cancer: a proposed mechanism

Med Hypotheses. 1999 Jan;52(1):23-6. doi: 10.1054/mehy.1997.0620.


The majority of ovarian cancers are derived from ovarian surface epithelial cells that are sequestered in inclusion cysts within the ovarian stroma. We propose that the Fas/Fas ligand system is responsible for the normal elimination of these inclusion cysts through apoptosis, thereby removing potential sites of ovarian tumors. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the failure of the Fas/Fas ligand's apoptotic signaling mechanism leads to the persistence of these inclusion cysts in the stroma, and the onset of ovarian tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological*
  • Ovarian Cysts / complications
  • Ovarian Cysts / immunology
  • Ovarian Cysts / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovulation
  • Signal Transduction
  • fas Receptor / metabolism


  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • fas Receptor