Frequency of serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma in various gynecologic malignancies: a study of 300 consecutive cases

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2012 Mar;31(2):103-10. doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e31822ea955.


Serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of pelvic serous carcinoma. We hypothesized that, if this is the case, the frequency of STIC should be substantially lower in endometrial serous carcinomas, in nonserous gynecologic malignancies, and in benign gynecologic neoplasms than in ovarian or peritoneal serous carcinomas. From 2007 to 2009 the fallopian tubes of 342 consecutive gynecologic cases were entirely submitted for histology using the Sectioning and Extensively Examining the FIMbriated end protocol. This study included 300 of these cases (277 TAH-BSO, 23 BSO) after exclusion. The hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides from the fallopian tubes were independently reviewed by 2 gynecologic pathologists who were blinded to all other findings; disagreements were resolved by a third pathologist. Among 46 cases of ovarian malignancies, STIC was identified in 6 (18.8%) of 32 cases of serous carcinoma, but not in any other subtype. Similarly, STIC coexisted in 4 (14.3%) of 28 cases of endometrial serous carcinoma; however, no STIC was identified in any of the 74 cases of nonserous endometrial malignancies. STIC was identified in 2 (28.6%) of 7 cases of peritoneal serous carcinoma. No STIC was identified among 15 nongynecologic malignancies, 90 cases of benign conditions, and 27 cases of other conditions including 4 cases of cervical adenocarcinoma in situ and high-grade cervical intraepithelial lesions, 8 cases of endometrial atypical complex hyperplasias, and 15 cases of ovarian borderline tumors. In conclusion, the fallopian tube may be the origin of some pelvic serous carcinomas. Other possibilities that may explain the origin of pelvic high-grade serous carcinoma are discussed. Given that STIC coexisted with 14% of endometrial serous carcinomas, a more unifying theory may be that gynecologic serous carcinomas and STIC are multifocal lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology*
  • Cystadenoma, Serous / pathology*
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology*