BRCA and early events in the development of serous ovarian cancer

Sophia H.L. George, Patricia Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Women who have an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have a substantial increased lifetime risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), and epidemiological factors related to parity, ovulation, and hormone regulation have a dramatic effect on the risk in both BRCA mutation carriers and non-carriers. The most common and most aggressive histotype of EOC, high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC), is also the histotype associated with germline BRCA mutations. In recent years, evidence has emerged indicating that the likely tissue of origin of HGSC is the fallopian tube. We have reviewed, what is known about the fallopian tube in BRCA mutation carriers at both the transcriptional and translational aspect of their biology. We propose that changes of the transcriptome in BRCA heterozygotes reflect an altered response to the ovulatory stresses from the microenvironment, which may include the post-ovulation inflammatory response and altered reproductive hormone physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 5
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume4 JAN
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA
  • Fallopian tube epithelium
  • High-grade serous carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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