Ovarian cancer discovered at late clinical stage continues to be a fatal disease. It seems self-evident that if we are to make an impact on the survival of advanced ovarian cancer patients, we must begin to understand the disease more completely. This should improve the diagnosis of the disease at an early stage when it is curable by surgery or develop better/targeted drug treatments. Modern molecular techniques have provided insights into many of the molecular changes that occur when ovarian cancer develops, but one must understand that changes seen in this way can only be said to correlate with disease. It would be helpful to have a way to test candidate changes for causality. In many cancer types, genetically engineered animals are beginning to be used for this purpose and as a means to study the disease process in greater detail. To date, there has been no way to study ovarian cancer by this means. Efforts to model human ovarian cancer have been delayed by a general lack of understanding both of the disease process in humans and of the cells widely believed to be the precursors of epithelial ovarian cancer, the ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells. Here, we present recent progress in modeling ovarian cancer using genetically modified mice.
- surface epithelium
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