What is the prognosis of borderline ovarian cancer?

Updated: Mar 18, 2019
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Patients with borderline tumors have an excellent overall prognosis. These women have a 60% chance of having stage I disease when diagnosed. Postoperative treatment for any stage is controversial; therefore, recommending reoperation for surgical staging alone is difficult. [2, 3] This being said, adequate staging is essential for determining the prognosis. One study showed that the only recurrences were noted in unstaged stage 1 borderline ovarian cancer. [4]

Approximately 95% of borderline ovarian tumors have diploid deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This finding is almost always associated with an excellent prognosis. If the tumor is aneuploid, the recurrence rate is high. Some authors suggest treating these as low-grade invasive carcinoma (also called micropapillary carcinoma).

Conflicting data exist with respect to overexpression of various oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Although TP 53 positivity and HER2 overexpression in invasive cancer have been associated with a worse prognosis, the same gene profile has conferred a survival advantage in borderline tumors.

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