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.
- Ovarian cancer
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
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