Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) comprises multiple disease states representing a variety of distinct tumors that, irrespective of tissue of origin, genetic aberrations and pathological features, share common patterns of dissemination to the peritoneal cavity. EOC peritoneal dissemination is a stepwise process that includes the formation of malignant outgrowths that detach and establish widespread peritoneal metastases through adhesion to serosal membranes. The cell biology associated with outgrowth formation, detachment, and de novo adhesion is at the nexus of diverse genetic backgrounds that characterize the disease. Development of treatment for metastatic disease will require detailed characterization of cellular processes involved in each step of EOC peritoneal dissemination. This article offers a review of the literature that relates to the current stage of knowledge about distinct steps of EOC peritoneal dissemination, with emphasis on the cell biology aspects of the process.
Keywords: fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells; integrins; myosin; ovarian cancer; peritoneal dissemination.