Inflammation: a hidden path to breaking the spell of ovarian cancer

Cell Cycle. 2009 Oct 1;8(19):3107-11. doi: 10.4161/cc.8.19.9590.


Epithelial ovarian cancer is a highly lethal gynecological cancer for which overall prognosis has remained poor over the past few decades. A number of theories have been postulated in an effort to explain the etiology of epithelial ovarian cancer, each of which has been both applauded and doubted. Of note, these theories likely are not mutually exclusive, as they all converge more or less on the role of inflammation in promoting ovarian tumorigenesis. In this review, we describe the latest studies on the role of inflammation in the initiation and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer from three major aspects: physiological functions of a normal ovary, potential involvement of the fallopian tube in the initiation of epithelial ovarian cancer and the strong impact of the cellular microenvironment on the development of the disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Disease Progression
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / immunology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ovary / pathology