Elucidation of genomic origin of synchronous endometrial and ovarian cancer (SEO) by genomic and microsatellite analysis

J Gynecol Oncol. 2023 Jan;34(1):e6. doi: 10.3802/jgo.2023.34.e6. Epub 2022 Oct 6.


Objective: Elucidation of clonal origin of synchronous endometrial and ovarian cancers (SEOs).

Methods: We reviewed 852 patients who diagnosed endometrial and/or ovarian cancer. Forty-five (5.3%) patients were diagnosed as SEOs. We evaluated blood and tissue samples from 17 patients. We analyzed the clonal origins of 41 samples from 17 patients by gene sequencing, mismatch microsatellite instability (MSI) polymerase chain reaction assay and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of 4 repair genes.

Results: Sixteen of 17 patients had at least 2 or more trunk mutations shared between endometrial and ovarian cancer suggesting the identical clonal origins. The shared trunk mutation are frequently found in endometrial cancer of the uterus, suggesting the uterine primary. Four out of 17 (24%) SEOs had mismatch repair (MMR) protein deficiency and MSI-high (MSI-H) states. One case was an endometrial carcinoma with local loss of MSH6 protein expression by IHC staining, and the result of MSI analysis using the whole formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimen was microsatellite stable. In contrast, ovarian tissue was deficient MMR and MSI-H in the whole specimen. This indicated that MMR protein deficiency could occur during the progression of disease.

Conclusion: Most SEOs are likely to be a single tumor with metastasis instead of double primaries, and their origin could be endometrium. In addition, SEOs have a high frequency of MMR gene abnormalities. These findings not only can support the notion of uterine primary, but also can help to expect the benefit for patients with SEOs by immuno-oncology treatment.

Keywords: Endometrial Carcinoma; Epithelial Ovarian Cancer; Molecular Genetics; Neoplasms; Synchronous Multiple Primary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / genetics
  • DNA Mismatch Repair / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Instability
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1 / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Protein Deficiency* / genetics


  • MutL Protein Homolog 1