The genetic changes involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian carcinoma are not completely understood. To investigate this matter, we studied paraffin-embedded, microdissected tissue of 47 ovarian epithelial tumors (9 adenomas, 11 tumors of low malignant potential [LMP], 14 serous carcinomas, and 13 nonserous carcinomas) using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). (The primary data used in this study are available at our CGH online tumor database at http://amba.charite.de/cgh.) Chromosomal imbalances were found in 1 serous adenoma and in 7 LMP tumors. In the latter the alterations appeared randomly and showed no overlap with alterations found in invasive carcinomas. Although the mean aberration number of low-grade serous carcinomas was comparable to LMP tumors, the imbalances of the former occurred with high incidence (>50%) and were found at different localizations. High-grade serous carcinomas had more than twice as much chromosomal imbalances as low-grade serous carcinomas and also had pronounced alterations. In serous carcinomas, gains were found on 3q, 6p, 7, 8q, and 20, and losses were found on 4q, 6q, 12q, 13q, and 16q. Comparing serous and nonserous carcinomas, the mean aberration number was comparable, but the number of high incidence changes was lower, and the most frequent imbalances were losses on 13q and gains on 20p. Overlapping alterations occurring in serous and nonserous carcinomas were gains on 3q and 6p, as well as losses on 4q. Chromosomal imbalances associated with poor prognosis of ovarian carcinomas were gains on 6p, 7q, and 13q and losses on 15q, 17p, 18q, and 21q. Our data indicate that serous LMP tumors and invasive carcinomas have different genetic aberrations, indicating that invasive carcinomas do not arise from preexisting serous LMP tumors. On the other hand, there are common genetic abnormalities in serous and nonserous carcinomas, suggesting that they have very early lesions in common but take different paths of further development.
Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.