Endometriosis and ovarian cancer

Baliakas D, Deliveliotou E, Giotis C, Vlachos N

2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aretaieio University hospital, Athens, Greece
Correspondence: Vlachos N, 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aretaieio University hospital, 76 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, GR-11528, Athens, Greece. 
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Endometriosis and ovarian cancer share many molecular, pathogenetic and predisposing factors. In a molecular basis endometriosis and estrogen-dependent neoplasms respond similarly to estrogen-induced growth signalling. They have common resistance to apoptotic processes, whereas genetic mutations in the presence of endometriosis are associated with certain types of ovarian cancer. Predisposing factors in both of these conditions are precocious menarche, short duration of the cycle, cycle heterogenity, while tubal ligation seems to be protective. Endometriosis includes many characteristics of the benign processes, but simultaneously the potential for malignant transformation. The aim of this review is to present current clinical, epidemiological and molecular data on the interaction and correlation of endometriosis and ovarian cancer, according to the most recent evidence provided by the literature.

Key words: endometriosis; ovarian cancer; estrogen; inflammation