Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies and has witnessed minimal improvements in patient outcomes in the past three decades. About 70% of ovarian cancer patients present with disseminated disease at the time of diagnosis. The standard of care remains a combination of debulking surgery and platinum‐ and taxanes‐based cytotoxic chemotherapy. Even though metastasis is the leading cause of ovarian cancer related fatalities, our understanding of the process remains limited. Ovarian cancer has a unique pattern of metastasis where the hematogenous spread is less common. Ovarian cancer cells mainly metastasize within the peritoneal cavity, which involves exfoliation from the primary tumor, survival, and transport in the peritoneal fluid followed by metastatic colonization of the organs within the peritoneal cavity. A key step for successful metastasis is their attachment and productive interactions with the mesothelial cells covering the metastatic organs for the establishment of metastatic tumors. This chapter provides an overview of ovarian cancer metastasis highlighting the unique dissemination and the underlying mechanisms of regulation of the steps involved. The role of the microenvironment in the process of metastasis will also be reviewed.
Part of the book: Tumor Metastasis