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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2011 Sep;28(10):917-23. doi: 10.1007/s10815-011-9573-1. Epub 2011 May 26.

Identification of common mechanisms between endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qianfo Shan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, People's Republic of China.



To determine common molecular markers between endometriosis and ovarian cancer.


Patients included women who underwent laparoscopic excision of ovarian endometriotic lesions (n = 7), healthy non-pregnant women with normal pelvises, who underwent excision of normal peritoneum (n = 7). Two epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cell lines were also utilized. Expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), estrogen receptor (ER)-1α, progesterone receptor (PR), androgen receptor (AR), and aromatase was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR.


Endometriosis and EOC cells manifested significantly higher mRNA levels of TGF-β1, COX-2, VEGF, ER-1α, AR, and aromatase, while they expressed significantly lower mRNA levels of PR.


Increased TGF-β1, COX-2, VEGF, ER-1α, AR, and aromatase and decreased PR in endometriotic as well as EOC cells suggests a potential association between these two disease processes. This association is important, as it may reveal common mechanisms for both diseases.

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