Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) affects a number of chromosome regions in ovarian cancer, pointing to the possible involvement of tumour-suppressor genes in ovarian tumorigenesis. We performed comparative analysis of allelic loss at 6 frequently affected chromosome regions in a panel of 53 benign, borderline and malignant ovarian tumours. Precursor lesions could provide evidence that an accumulation of genetic events is required for normal ovarian epithelium to generate malignant tumours. LOH on chromosome 1p was relatively common in benign, borderline and malignant tumours, while at 11p and 7q it was observed not only in invasive but also in borderline tumours. Moreover, 17q and 18q were affected mainly in advanced malignant tumours and revealed a high frequency of clonal intratumoral heterogeneity. We encountered different spectra of genetic alterations in primary tumours and their metastasis, which may be the results of intratumoral heterogeneity leading to dissemination in only some sub-clones.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.