Advanced cases of epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal, and primary tubal malignancies have a relatively poor prognosis and collectively remain the most deadly of all gynecologic malignancies. Although traditionally thought of as one disease process, ongoing research suggests that there is not 1 single site or cell type from which these cancers arise. A majority of the serous tumors appear to originate from dysplastic lesions in the distal fallopian tube. Therefore, what we have traditionally considered "ovarian" cancer may in fact be tubal in origin. In this article, we will review epithelial ovarian cancer classification and genetics, theories regarding cells of origin with a focus on tubal intraepithelial carcinoma, and implications for prevention and screening.
Keywords: TP53 mutation; ovarian carcinogenesis; tubal intraepithelial carcinoma.
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