The clinical features of ovarian cancer in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Aug;82(2):223-8. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6279.


Objective: Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a hereditary cancer susceptibility disorder associated with a very high risk for carcinoma of the colon and an elevated risk for certain extracolonic cancers including ovarian cancer. Our aim in this study was to describe the clinicopathologic features of ovarian cancer in HNPCC family members.

Methods: . Members of the International Collaborative Group on HNPCC collected retrospective data on 80 ovarian cancer patients who were members of HNPCC families, including 31 known mutation carriers, 35 presumptive carriers (by colorectal/endometrial cancer status), and 14 at-risk family members.

Results: Mean age at diagnosis of ovarian cancer was 42.7. Nonepithelial tumors made up only 6.4% of the cancers, and borderline tumors comprised just 4.1% of the epithelial cancers. Among frankly malignant epithelial cases, most cancers were well or moderately differentiated, and 85% were FIGO stage I or II at diagnosis. Synchronous endometrial cancer was reported in 21.5% of cases.

Conclusions: Ovarian cancer in HNPCC differs from ovarian cancer in the general population in several clinically important respects. It occurs at a markedly earlier age. It is more likely to be epithelial. If it is a frankly invasive epithelial cancer, it is more likely to be well or moderately differentiated. HNPCC patients with ovarian cancer are more likely to have a synchronous endometrial cancer than other ovarian cancer patients and are more likely to be diagnosed at an early stage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies