Immunopathogenesis of ovarian cancer

M. P. Torres, M. P. Ponnusamy, I. Lakshmanan, Surinder K. Batra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer, the most aggressive gynecologic cancer, is the foremost cause of death from gynecologic malignancies in the developed world. Over 90% of ovarian cancers arise from the surface epithelium, which are classified as epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). EOCs can be categorized as serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear cell, and transitional cell types. The molecular pathology of ovarian carcinomas is heterogeneous and involves various putative precursor lesions and multiple pathways of development. Furthermore, in another aspect, immune deficiencies that are present in the ovarian tumor environment enhance the progression of the tumor in the host. The presence of regulatory T cells, the inhibition of natural killer cytotoxic responses, the accumulation of myeloid suppressor cells in the tumor, deficiencies on interferon signaling, the secretion of cytokines that enhance tumor growth (i.e., IL-6, IL-10, CSF-1, TGF-β, TNF), and the expression of surface molecules (i.e., HLA-G, B7-H1, B7-H4, CD40, CD80) that have a role on immune suppression, are discussed in detail. The aim of this review is to provide insight of the evidence that supports the role of immunodeficiency in the progression of ovarian cancer and future directions for ovarian cancer therapies. It also discusses the genetic alterations in the subtypes of ovarian cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-400
Number of pages16
JournalMinerva Medica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Immune diseases
  • Mutation
  • Ovarian neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunopathogenesis of ovarian cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this