Previous studies have failed in the identification of the cell that acts as the origin of high-grade (most lethal) ovarian cancer. But currently, the findings of this new research have identified the two cells from where ovarian cancers may arise in the majority of cases.
According to the study results, the origins of ovarian cancers are the cells lining the exterior surface of ovaries or the cells on the adjacent fallopian tubes surface. The researchers state that the tumor’s growth rate and its level of response to therapies depend upon the cell-of-origin.
The efforts made by the research team from the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health have resulted in these study findings. The study was presented online in the journal “Nature Communications” on November 26, 2019.
Shuang Zhang is the first author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at the Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health. According to Zhang, the idea about the origin of ovarian cancers offers a better understanding of the biology and the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer originates from ovaries and most of the time remains undiagnosed until it spreads to the abdomen and pelvis. The treatment of the early-stage of ovarian cancer is possible and there are greater chances of complete recovery.
In this study, the researchers have used genetically modified/engineered mice. The similar mutations (cancer-causing genetic changes) were observed not only in ovarian or fallopian tube surface cells, but also in organoids.
Whereas, organoids are tiny 3D cultures of the cell, derived from mice’s tissue. The research team has found the differences in the growth rate of tumors caused by either of the cell types. The growth rate of tumors is more in ovarian cancer caused by fallopian tube surface cells, compared to lining cells of the ovary.
According to the study authors, both fallopian and ovarian cells leads to a tumor. The tumors caused by the former one has the ability to spread more widely and quickly in the whole abdomen. Whereas, the tumors caused by the latter one is abnormally high, leading to tumor progression throughout the body.
Also, in ovarian cancer, the tumors derived from fallopian tubes were more problematic to the cis-platinum than ovarian-surface derived tumors. Similar to these results, in mice, the researchers found that ovarian surface- and fallopian tube derived tumors expressed various genes, among which mostly the expression is different from the normal cells.
The use of these differentially expressed genes enables the researchers to compare cancer affected cells with the normal cells. On further study, it was found that human-associated tumors are more fallopian like, whereas the others are ovarian like.
In short, the study results have indicated and identified two types of cells involved in the development of ovarian cancer. It has also discovered that knowing the original cell type has a significant effect on therapy response and tumor behavior.
Benjamin Neel states that for the personalized and optimized therapy, the health care professional may require to keep in mind the cell-of-origin and specific genetic changes associated with tumor