Intraepithelial carcinoma of the fimbria and pelvic serous carcinoma: Evidence for a causal relationship

Am J Surg Pathol. 2007 Feb;31(2):161-9. doi: 10.1097/01.pas.0000213335.40358.47.


Proposed origins of pelvic serous carcinoma include the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum. Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomies in BRCA+ women have recently identified the fimbria as a site of origin for early serous carcinoma (tubal intraepithelial carcinoma or TIC). We explored the relationship of TIC to pelvic serous carcinomas in consecutive cases with complete adnexal exam (SEE-FIM protocol). Cases positive (group A) or negative (group B) for endosalpinx (including fimbria) involvement, were subclassified as tubal, ovarian, or primary peritoneal in origin. Coexisting TIC was recorded in group A when present and p53 mutation status was determined in 5 cases. Of 55 evaluable cases, 41 (75%) were in group A; including tubal (n = 5), peritoneal (n = 6), and ovarian (n = 30) carcinomas. Foci of TIC were identified in 5 of 5, 4 of 6, and 20 of 30, respectively. Ninety-three percent of TICs involved the fimbriae. Five of 5 TICs and concurrent ovarian carcinomas contained identical p53 mutations. Thirteen of 14 cases in group B were classified as primary ovarian carcinomas, 10 with features supporting an origin in the ovary. Overall, 71% and 48% of "ovarian" serous carcinomas had endosalpinx involvement or TIC. TIC coexists with all forms of pelvic serous carcinoma and is a plausible origin for many of these tumors. Further studies are needed to elucidate the etiologic significance of TIC in pelvic serous carcinoma, reevaluate the criteria for tubal, peritoneal, and ovarian serous carcinoma, and define the role of the distal tube in pelvic serous carcinogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics
  • Carcinoma in Situ / metabolism
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / genetics
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / metabolism
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology*
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / genetics
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Genes, p53 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53