IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 18 / Issue 5 / pii/1997164

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). 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 S.O.G.

Original Research

Molecular aspects of breast and ovarian cancer

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1 Agii Anargiri Hospital, Athens, Greece
2 Leto Maternity Hospital, Athens, Greece
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 1997, 18(5), 387–393;
Published: 10 October 1997

Extensive research has led to accumulation of common hereditary evidence concerning ovarian and breast cancer, suggesting that these two cancers can be considered as one type. Subsequently, women with breast cancer are susceptible to the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Highly expressed oncogenes such as bcl-2, HER2/neu and others or mutated suppressor genes such as p53 or BRCAl have been characterised as hereditary susceptibility genes leading to syndromes such as breast/ovarian cancer syndrome, Li-Fraumeni and others. Furthermore, these genetic alterations can cause potent chemoresistance by inhibiting induction of apoptosis after DNA damage caused by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Presently, molecular onco-biology has enabled us not only to detect susceptibility to ovarian and breast cancer but also ways to inhibit their further progression or even circumventing chemoresistance mechanisms after their development by gene therapy using delivery vectors such as liposomes or viruses, by which we can replace wild-type tumour suppressor genes or by using antigene, antisense oligonucleotides and antisense RNA leading to reduced oncogene expression, enabling induction of apoptosis after DNA damage into chemoresistant tumour cells. Furthermore efflux-genes such as MDR-1 or MRP can be circumvented, suicide-genes can be employed which can facilitate sensitivity by encoding enzymes capable of converting inactive forms of a drug into toxic antimetabolites and immunotherapy can be achieved, by transfection of tumour cells with adenoviral vectors encoding immunomodulators such as IL-2 or MHC molecules. Thus, molecular biology appears to be a very strong element for the screening, diagnosis, therapy and prognosis of ovarian and breast cancer. However, consistent future research is greatly needed because many points concerning ovarian and breast cancer gene­tics are still unknown. Finally, we strongly believe that gene therapy could be extremely useful when is combined with conventional therapy against ovarian and breast tumours.

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