Role of common genetic variants in ovarian cancer susceptibility and outcome: progress to date from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC)

J Intern Med. 2012 Apr;271(4):366-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02509.x.


In this article, we review the current knowledge of the inherited genetics of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) susceptibility and clinical outcome. We focus on recent developments in identifying low-penetrance susceptibility genes and the role of the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) in these discoveries. The OCAC was established to facilitate large-scale replication analyses for reported genetic associations for EOC. Since its inception, the OCAC has conducted both candidate gene and genome-wide association studies (GWAS); the latter has identified six established loci for EOC susceptibility, most of which showed stronger association with the serous histological subtype. Future GWAS and sequencing studies are likely to result in the discovery of additional susceptibility loci and may result in established associations with clinical outcome. Additional rare and uncommon ovarian cancer loci will likely be uncovered from high-throughput next-generation sequencing studies. Applying these novel findings to establish improved preventative and clinical intervention strategies will be one of the major challenges of future work.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Treatment Outcome