The genetics of ovarian cancer are a complex, ever evolving concept that presents hurdles in classification, diagnosis, and treatment in the clinic. Instead of common driver mutations, genomic instability is one of the hallmarks of ovarian cancer. While ovarian cancer is stratified into different clinical subtypes, there still exists extensive genetic and progressive diversity within each subtype. In high-grade serous ovarian cancer, the most common subtype, TP53 is mutated in over 90% of all patients while the next most common mutation is less than 20%. However, next-generation sequencing and biological statistics have shown that mutations within DNA repair pathways, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, are common in about 50% of all high-grade serous patients leading to the development of a breakthrough therapy of poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. This is just one example of how a better understanding of the complex genetic background of ovarian cancer can improve clinical treatment. A thorough review of ovarian cancer genetics and the effect it has on disease development, diagnosis, progression, and treatment will enhance the understanding of how to better research and treat ovarian cancer.
Part of the book: Ovarian Cancer