Ovarian cancers remain a substantial public health burden relevant to Service members, Veterans, military beneficiaries, and the American public due to the high mortality from ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer precursor lesions can currently only be identified through invasive surgery and are increasingly found during procedures for benign conditions and to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Knowing which precursor lesions are likely to progress to or be associated with invasive disease will direct surgical staging procedures, adjuvant chemotherapy, and monitoring parameters.
Substantial progress has been made in identifying the putative precursor lesions for ovarian cancers. We have recently learned that most advanced-stage, high-grade serous ovarian cancers originate in the fallopian tube and less aggressive endometrioid and clear cell ovarian cancers develop from pre-existing pelvic endometriosis.