The role of the fallopian tube in the origin of ovarian cancer

Britt K. Erickson, Michael G. Conner, Charles N. Landen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by T32-CA091078 (Dr Erickson), and by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Clinical and Translational Science ( 5UL1RR025777 ); the Reproductive Scientist Development Program through the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the National Institutes of Health ( K12 HD00849 ); and the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Academy ( OC093443 ) (Dr Landen).


  • TP53 mutation
  • ovarian carcinogenesis
  • tubal intraepithelial carcinoma


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