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Cell Res. 2008 May;18(5):538-48. doi: 10.1038/cr.2008.52.

Genomic analysis of epithelial ovarian cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Ovarian cancer is a major health problem for women in the United States. Despite evidence of considerable heterogeneity, most cases of ovarian cancer are treated in a similar fashion. The molecular basis for the clinicopathologic characteristics of these tumors remains poorly defined. Whole genome expression profiling is a genomic tool, which can identify dysregulated genes and uncover unique sub-classes of tumors. The application of this technology to ovarian cancer has provided a solid molecular basis for differences in histology and grade of ovarian tumors. Differentially expressed genes identified pathways implicated in cell proliferation, invasion, motility, chromosomal instability, and gene silencing and provided new insights into the origin and potential treatment of these cancers. The added knowledge provided by global gene expression profiling should allow for a more rational treatment of ovarian cancers. These techniques are leading to a paradigm shift from empirical treatment to an individually tailored approach. This review summarizes the new genomic data on epithelial ovarian cancers of different histology and grade and the impact it will have on our understanding and treatment of this disease.

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