Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Are Epithelial Ovarian Cancers of the Mesenchymal Subtype Actually Intraperitoneal Metastases to the Ovary?


Primary ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) has been classified into 4 molecular subtypes: Immunoreactive, Proliferative, Differentiated, and Mesenchymal (Mes), of which the Mes subtype (Mes-HGSC) is associated with the worst clinical outcomes. We propose that Mes-HGSC comprise clusters of cancer and associated stromal cells that detached from tumors in the upper abdomen/omentum and disseminated in the peritoneal cavity, including to the ovary. Using comparative analyses of multiple transcriptomic data sets, we provide the following evidence that the phenotype of Mes-HGSC matches the phenotype of tumors in the upper abdomen/omentum: (1) irrespective of the primary ovarian HGSC molecular subtype, matched upper abdominal/omental metastases were typically of the Mes subtype, (2) the Mes subtype was present at the ovarian site only in patients with concurrent upper abdominal/omental metastases and not in those with HGSC confined to the ovary, and (3) ovarian Mes-HGSC had an expression profile characteristic of stromal cells in the upper abdominal/omental metastases. We suggest that ovarian Mes-HGSC signifies advanced intraperitoneal tumor dissemination to the ovary rather than a subtype of primary ovarian HGSC. This is consistent with the presence of upper abdominal/omental disease, suboptimal debulking, and worst survival previously reported in patients with ovarian Mes-HGSC compared to other molecular subtypes.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View