Development of Peritoneal Carcinomatosis in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A Review

Juliette O. A. M. van Baal, Cornelis J. F. van Noorden, Rienk Nieuwland, Koen K. van de Vijver, Auguste Sturk, Willemien J. van Driel, Gemma G. Kenter, Christianne A. R. Lok

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89 Citations (Scopus)


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) metastasizes intra-abdominally with often numerous, superficial, small-sized lesions. This so-called peritoneal carcinomatosis is difficult to treat, and peritoneal recurrences are frequently observed, leading to a poor prognosis. Underlying mechanisms of interactions between EOC and peritoneal cells are incompletely understood. This review summarizes and discusses the development of peritoneal carcinomatosis from a cell-biological perspective, focusing on characteristics of EOC and peritoneal cells. We aim to provide insight into how peritoneum facilitates tumor adhesion but limits size of lesions and depth of invasion. The development of peritoneal carcinomatosis is a multistep process that requires adaptations of EOC and peritoneal cells. Mechanisms that enable tumor adhesion and growth involve cadherin restructuring on EOC cells, integrin-mediated adhesion, and mesothelial evasion by mechanical forces driven by integrin-ligand interactions. Clinical trials targeting these mechanisms, however, showed only limited effects. Other factors that inhibit tumor growth and deep invasion are virtually unknown. Future studies are needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms that underlie the development and limited growth of peritoneal carcinomatosis. This review on development of peritoneal carcinomatosis of EOC summarizes the current knowledge and its limitations. Clarification of the stepwise process may inspire future research to investigate new treatment approaches of peritoneal carcinomatosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number2
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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