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Cancers 2018, 10(8), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10080261

The Endometriotic Tumor Microenvironment in Ovarian Cancer

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
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Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Tumor Microenvironment of High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer)
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Abstract

Women with endometriosis are at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, specifically ovarian endometrioid, low-grade serous, and clear-cell adenocarcinoma. An important clinical caveat to the association of endometriosis with ovarian cancer is the improved prognosis for women with endometriosis at time of ovarian cancer staging. Whether endometriosis-associated ovarian cancers develop from the molecular transformation of endometriosis or develop because of the endometriotic tumor microenvironment remain unknown. Additionally, how the presence of endometriosis improves prognosis is also undefined, but likely relies on the endometriotic microenvironment. The unique tumor microenvironment of endometriosis is composed of epithelial, stromal, and immune cells, which adapt to survive in hypoxic conditions with high levels of iron, estrogen, and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Understanding the unique molecular features of the endometriotic tumor microenvironment may lead to impactful precision therapies and/or modalities for prevention. A challenge to this important study is the rarity of well-characterized clinical samples and the limited model systems. In this review, we will describe the unique molecular features of endometriosis-associated ovarian cancers, the endometriotic tumor microenvironment, and available model systems for endometriosis-associated ovarian cancers. Continued research on these unique ovarian cancers may lead to improved prevention and treatment options. View Full-Text
Keywords: ovarian cancer; endometriosis; tumor microenvironment; miRNA molecules; genes; hypoxia; inflammation; model systems ovarian cancer; endometriosis; tumor microenvironment; miRNA molecules; genes; hypoxia; inflammation; model systems
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Wendel, J.R.H.; Wang, X.; Hawkins, S.M. The Endometriotic Tumor Microenvironment in Ovarian Cancer. Cancers 2018, 10, 261.

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