Models of ovarian cancer--are we there yet?

Kenneth Garson, Tanya J Shaw, Katherine V Clark, De-Sheng Yao, Barbara C Vanderhyden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of all gynecological cancers and arises most commonly from the surface epithelium. Successful clinical management of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer is limited by the lack of a reliable and specific method for early detection, and the frequent recurrence of chemoresistant disease. Experimental models are of crucial importance not only to understand the biological and genetic factors that influence the phenotypic characteristics of the disease but also to utilize as a basis for developing rational intervention strategies. Ovarian cancer cell lines derived from ascites or primary ovarian tumors have been used extensively and can be very effective for studying the processes controlling growth regulation and chemosensitivity or evaluating novel therapeutics, both in vitro and in xenograft models. While our limited knowledge of the initiating events of ovarian cancer has restricted the development of models in which the early pathogenic events can be studied, recent advances in the ability to manipulate gene expression in ovarian surface epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo have begun to provide insights into the molecular changes that may contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. This review highlights the strengths and weaknesses of some of the current models of ovarian cancer, with special consideration of the recent progress in modeling ovarian cancer using genetically engineered mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2005


  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epithelium
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Ovarian Neoplasms
  • Ovary
  • Precancerous Conditions


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