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Expression Profiles of Genes Involved in Poor Prognosis of Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma: A Review
  1. Shozo Yoshida, MD, PhD,
  2. Naoto Furukawa, MD, PhD,
  3. Shoji Haruta, MD,
  4. Yasuhito Tanase, MD,
  5. Seiji Kanayama, MD, PhD,
  6. Taketoshi Noguchi, MD,
  7. Mariko Sakata, MD,
  8. Yoshihiko Yamada, MD, PhD,
  9. Hidekazu Oi, MD, PhD and
  10. Hiroshi Kobayashi, MD, PhD
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, Nara, Japan.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hiroshi Kobayashi, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara, 634-8522, Japan. E-mail: hirokoba{at}


Background: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the commonest cause of gynecological cancer-related mortality. Although the prognosis for patients with advanced cancer is poor, there is a wide range of outcomes for individual patients.

Objective: The aim of this study was to review molecular factors predictive of poor prognosis of women with EOC by reviewing microarray research identifying gene expression profiles.

Methods: A systematic search was performed in the electronic databases PubMed and ScienceDirect up to July 2008, combining the keywords "genome-wide," "microarray," "epithelial ovarian cancer" "prognosis," and "epithelial-mesenchymal transition" with specific expression profiles of genes.

Results: Many genes that participated in cell signaling, growth factors, transcription factors, proteinases, metabolism, cell adhesion, extracellular matrix component, cell proliferation, and anti-apoptosis were overexpressed in patients with poor prognosis. Several important prognosis-related genes overlap with those known to be regulated by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). This signaling pathway of EMT (E-cadherin, β-catenin, receptor tyrosine kinases, NF-κB, TGF-β, or Wnt signalings) will be discussed, as it provides new insights into a new treatment strategy.

Conclusions: This review summarizes recent advances in prognosis-related molecular biology. Collectively, molecular changes possibly through EMT are considered to be a major contributor to the poor prognosis of EOC.

  • Genome
  • Prognosis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition

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