The distal fallopian tube: A new model for pelvic serous carcinogenesis

Christopher P. Crum, Ronny Drapkin, Alexander Miron, Tan A. Ince, Michael Muto, David W. Kindelberger, Yonghee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

345 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Research over the past 50 years has yielded little concrete information on the source of pelvic serous cancer in women, creating a knowledge gap that has adversely influenced our ability to identify, remove or prevent the earliest stages of the most lethal form of ovarian cancer. RECENT FINDINGS: The distal fallopian tube is emerging as an established source of many early serous carcinomas in women with BRCA mutations (BRCA+). Protocols examining the fimbrial (SEE-FIM) end have revealed a noninvasive but potentially lethal form of tubal carcinoma, designated tubal intraepithelial carcinoma. Tubal intraepithelial carcinoma is present in many women with presumed ovarian or peritoneal serous cancer. A candidate precursor to tubal intraepithelial carcinoma, entitled the 'p53 signature', suggests that molecular events associated with serous cancer (p53 mutations) may be detected in benign mucosa. SUMMARY: A fully characterized precursor lesion is a first and necessary step to pelvic serous cancer prevention. The emerging data offer compelling evidence for a model of 'fimbrial-ovarian' serous neoplasia, and call attention to the distal fallopian tube as an important source for this disease, the study of which could clarify pathways to cancer in both organs and generate novel strategies for cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA
  • Fallopian tube
  • Fimbria
  • Intraepithelial carcinoma
  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • p53
  • Primary peritoneal serous carcinoma
  • Serous carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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