Molecular genetic changes that are associated with the initiating stage of tumor development are important in tumorigenesis. Ovarian serous borderline tumors (SBTs), putative precursors of low-grade serous carcinomas, are among the few human neoplasms with a high frequency of activating mutations in BRAF and KRAS genes. However, it remains unclear as to how these mutations contribute to tumor progression. To address this issue, we compared the mutational status of BRAF and KRAS in both SBTs and the adjacent epithelium from cystadenomas, the presumed precursor of SBTs. We found that three of eight SBTs contained mutant BRAF, and four SBTs contained mutant KRAS. All specimens with mutant BRAF harbored wild-type KRAS and vice versa. Thus, seven (88%) of eight SBTs contained either BRAF or KRAS mutations. The same mutations detected in SBTs were also identified in the cystadenoma epithelium adjacent to the SBTs in six (86%) of seven informative cases. As compared to SBTs, the cystadenoma epithelium, like ovarian surface epithelium, lacks cytological atypia. Our findings provide cogent evidence that mutations of BRAF and KRAS occur in the epithelium of cystadenomas adjacent to SBTs and strongly suggest that they are very early events in tumorigenesis, preceding the development of SBT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research