IMR Press / FBE / Volume 3 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/E275

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

STICS, SCOUTs and p53 signatures; a new language for pelvic serous carcinogenesis
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1 Division of Women’s and Perinatal Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
2 Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor
3 A-Star Institute of Medical Biology, Singapore

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed,


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2011, 3(2), 625–634;
Published: 1 January 2011

The events leading to the most common and most lethal ovarian carcinoma – high grade serous carcinoma – have been poorly understood. However, the detailed pathologic study of asymptomatic women with germ-line BRCA 1 or BRCA2 (BCRA+) mutations has unearthed an early malignancy, serous tubal intraepithelial carcinomas (STIC), which has linked many peritoneal and ovarian serous carcinomas to the fimbria. The distinction between high-grade serous and endometrioid carcinomas continues to narrow, with shared alterations in expression of pTEN, PAX2 and p53. Moreover, the discovery of clonal alterations in p53 in benign tubal epithelium, – p53 signatures – has established a foundation for a serous cancer precursor in the fimbria. We have expanded this entity to include a “generic” secretory cell outgrowth (SCOUT), in the fallopian tube that is associated with altered PAX2. As the repertoire of gene alterations is expanded and its link to serous carcinogenesis clarified, a cogent pathway to high-grade Mullerian carcinomas will emerge. This will challenge conventional thinking about ovarian carcinogenesis but will provide a new template for studies of ovarian cancer prevention.

Ovarian Cancer
Fallopian Tube
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