Certain ovarian tumors might not show cancer, could create therapies

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 5, 2005

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A new study suggests that ovarian tumors classified as serous borderline or low malignant potential, or LMP, are not early precursors in the development of aggressive ovarian cancer but may be part of an entirely different class of tumors.

Also, genes that were identified in the study as being expressed, or active, in these different classes of tumors could help identify targets for more specific diagnostics and therapies to treat the disease. The study appears in the Nov. 15 Cancer Research.

LMP is different than serous high-grade ovarian tumors, which are more aggressive, yet it shares similarities with serous low-grade ovarian tumors, said the researchers. Both serous high-grade and low-grade ovarian tumors are types of invasive ovarian cancer. Whether serous LMP ovarian tumors are types of invasive ovarian cancers has been controversial.

"Patients with serous low-grade or high-grade ovarian tumors currently receive the same treatment, which is surgery followed by chemotherapy," said Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, study leader and head of the Molecular Mechanism Section at the National Cancer Institute. "However, the finding that low-grade tumors are more similar to LMP tumors has significant therapeutic implications."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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