Calcification: A Disregarded or Ignored Issue in the Gynecologic Tumor Microenvironments

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2018 Mar;28(3):486-492. doi: 10.1097/IGC.0000000000001185.


Although calcification in the gynecologic tumor microenvironments is a common phenomenon, doctors and researchers still disregard or ignore the issue. In fact, this change in the gynecologic tumor microenvironments is clinically significant and a number of studies have reported an association between calcification and gynecological tumor progression. In ovarian cancer, calcification is predominantly psammomatous and largely occurs in serous papillary ovarian tumors. In addition, calcification in ovarian cancer correlated with lower histologic grade and may indicate a poorer survival rate. In uterine fibroids, calcification occurs as a degenerative change and is predictive of a good prognosis. As for endometrial cancer and cervical cancer, calcification rarely occurs in these cancers. The mechanism of calcification in the gynecologic tumor microenvironments is not currently clear. One theory is that calcification occurs due to degeneration of the tumor cells; another theory is that calcification occurs in response to secretions from cells in the tumor microenvironment. Although previous studies have revealed a direct association between calcifications and gynecological tumors, this association has not been fully clarified. To better clarify the significance of calcification in terms of diagnosing and treating gynecological tumors, the associations between calcification and the different histologic stages and prognosis in gynecological tumors should be further studied. In particular, more attention should be paid to the morphological characteristics, chemical nature, and mechanism of calcifications in the gynecological tumor microenvironments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis*
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / metabolism*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Tumor Microenvironment*