Is low-grade serous ovarian cancer part of the tumor spectrum of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer?

Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Feb;120(2):229-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2010.10.033. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


Objective: To determine whether women with low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC) have personal and family histories of breast and ovarian cancer that are less suggestive of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), as compared to women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC).

Methods: A single institution, case-control retrospective review of medical records was conducted. Personal demographics, personal cancer history, and family history of breast and ovarian cancer of women with LGSOC were collected and compared to controls with HGSOC, which is known to be associated with HBOC.

Results: 195 cases of LGSOC and 386 controls with HGSOC were included in the analysis. Women with LGSOC were significantly less likely to have a first- or second-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer (p=0.0016). Additionally, when the personal and family histories were quantified using the AMyriad BRC mutation prevalence tables, women with LGSOC had lower scores indicative of a less suggestive family history for HBOC (p=0.027).

Conclusions: In this study, women with LGSOC had family histories that were less suggestive of HBOC compared to women with HGSOC, especially when the degree of relatedness of affected relatives was taken into account. By beginning to determine if LGSOC is part of the tumor spectrum seen in HBOC, this study is an important step towards refining hereditary cancer risk assessment for women with ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / genetics*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies