Pre-cancerous Lesions Do Not Always Lead to Ovarian Cancer, Study Finds

Pre-cancerous Lesions Do Not Always Lead to Ovarian Cancer, Study Finds
Not all "pre-cancerous" ovarian lesions progress to full-fledged cancer, a new study reports. If confirmed, these results could allow for better identification of ovarian cancer at its very early stages, and potentially strengthen preventative care for this disease. The study was published in The Journal of Pathology and titled, "Genomic landscape and evolutionary trajectories of ovarian cancer precursor lesions." High-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) is the most common type of ovarian cancer. Recent research suggests that this cancer doesn't actually originate in the ovaries; rather, it is proposed to begin as lesions in the fallopian tubes, the organs that transport egg cells from the ovaries to the uterus. However, how these lesions progress into cancer remains poorly understood. Here, "lesions" are essentially groups of cells that look cancerous based on their appearance and/or genetic markers. Researchers examined 24 pre-cancerous fallopian tube lesions from 11 individuals who did not have HGSC, but had these organs removed in order to reduce their cancer risk. They also examined similar lesions, as well as cancer cells, from four people with confirmed high-grade serous carcinoma. After carefully removing lesion cells, the researchers sequenced their exomes (the part of the genome that codes for proteins). Unsurprisingly, in both cancer cells and lesion cells, they found known cancer-associated mutations, most notably mutations in the tumor suppressor gene TP53, which is well-documented as being commonly mutat
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