This new study reports the complexity of molecular landscape in the very early phase of ovarian cancer development, before ovarian cancer arises. Our data shows that there are in fact multiple ovarian cancer precursor species on the fallopian tubes. Most of them are benign and represent evolutionary dead-ends. Among these precursor lesions, sometimes one of them can continue to progress into ovarian cancer which will then eradicate its own habitat where other unrelated precursors reside. This new finding contrasts with the generally accepted thought of linear progression from a precursor to a carcinoma; it provides a fresh view of how this Darwinian evolution takes place in the pre-cancer stage of ovarian cancer development. This study will have significant implications in understanding the origins of ovarian cancer and providing an infrastructure for better prevention and early detection of this devastating disease.
Tina’s Wish researcher, Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD, is the Richard W. TeLinde Distinguished Professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a board-certified attending pathologist in the Division of Gynecologic Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. LEARN MORE ABOUT HIS RESEARCH HERE