Endometriosis-related ovarian neoplasms (ERONs) are a unique group of tumors as they are associated with endometriosis, especially endometriosis presenting as an ovarian endometriotic cyst (endometrioma). ERONs include clear cell carcinoma, endometrioid carcinoma, and seromucinous borderline tumor. A growing body of evidence from both clinicopathologic and molecular studies suggests that most, if not all, ERONs develop from endometriotic cyst epithelium through different stages of tumor progression. The endometriotic cyst contains abundant iron-induced reactive oxygen species that are thought to be mutagenic, and chronic exposure of cystic epithelium to this microenvironment facilitates the accumulation of somatic mutations that ultimately result in tumor development. Molecular analyses of ERONs, including genome-wide screens, have identified several molecular genetic alterations that lead to aberrant activation or inactivation of pathways involving ARID1A, PI3K, Wnt, and PP2A. Among all molecular genetic changes identified to date, inactivating mutations of the ARID1A tumor suppressor gene are the most common in ERON. Understanding the molecular changes and pathogenesis involved in the development of ERON is fundamental for future translational studies aimed at designing new diagnostic tests for early detection and identifying critical molecular features for targeted therapeutics.
*Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
†Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD
Supported by NIH/NCI Grant—CA165807.
All figures can be viewed online in color at http://www.anatomicpathology.com.
The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Reprints: Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org); and Daichi Maeda, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-ku Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan (e-mail: email@example.com).