Ovarian cancer is a common cause of cancer mortality in women with limited treatment effectiveness in advanced stages. The limitation to treatment is largely the result of high rates of cancer recurrence despite chemotherapy and eventual resistance to existing chemotherapeutic agents. The objective of this paper is to review current concepts of ovarian carcinogenesis. We will review existing hypotheses of tumor origin from ovarian epithelial cells, Fallopian tube, and endometrium. We will also review the molecular pathogenesis of ovarian cancer which results in two specific pathways of carcinogenesis: (1) type I low-grade tumor and (2) type II high-grade tumor. Improved understanding of the molecular basis of ovarian carcinogenesis has opened new opportunities for targeted therapy. This paper will also review these potential therapeutic targets and will explore new agents that are currently being investigated.
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