Advances in the recognition of tubal intraepithelial carcinoma: applications to cancer screening and the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer

Adv Anat Pathol. 2006 Jan;13(1):1-7. doi: 10.1097/01.pap.0000201826.46978.e5.


Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomies from women with BRCA mutations (BRCA+) have identified the tube as a frequent site of early pelvic serous carcinoma (tubal intraepithelial carcinoma [TIC]). These observations have implications for both the early recognition of pelvic serous carcinoma in susceptible women and determining the ultimate site of origin for pelvic serous carcinomas. Moreover, the unique pathology of TIC has shifted attention from the more exuberant proliferations mentioned in prior studies to a spectrum of neoplastic atypias that can be morphologically subtle. This review addresses a multitude of epithelial changes; benign, malignant, and an intriguing third group, which we term "p53 signatures," is found in benign, nonciliated epithelium and stain intensely positive for p53. Understanding all 3 is important for the proper management of women undergoing prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy and possibly formulating an integrated model for the pathogenesis of serous carcinoma in the reproductive tract. A protocol for sectioning and extensively examining the fimbriated end (SEE-FIM), and its rationale, is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoma in Situ / chemistry
  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / genetics
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Fallopian Tubes / chemistry
  • Fallopian Tubes / cytology
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Ovariectomy
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53