It is no secret that medical research can provide crucial insights into disease pathology, prognostic factors, and patient outcomes. Recently, a research team from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan dove deeper into research on ovarian cancer. In particular, the researchers focused on understanding the clinicopathological characteristics of ovarian granulosa cell tumors, a rare subset accounting for approximately 2% of ovarian cancer diagnoses.
According to Medical XPress, the researchers sought to understand how this particular cancer progresses, as well as what therapeutic interventions are needed. For example, the research found that invasive surgical interventions may not be needed in all cases.
Interested in learning more? Take a look at the full research findings published in Gynecologic Oncology.
Ovarian Granulosa Cell Tumors
A sex cord-stromal tumor [which] usually occurs in adults. [Ovarian] granulosa cell tumors cause higher than normal levels of estrogen in a woman’s body.
Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Early puberty (for young females)
- Menstrual irregularities
- Abdominal distention or inflammation
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Breast tenderness
- Changes in urinary frequency
Within this particular research, the researchers sourced data from 1,426 patients within the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Gynecological Tumor Registry over a 13-year period. Ultimately, the goal was to learn more about the cancer overall, as well as how to most effectively treat it. Findings include:
- Of the 1,426 patients, only around 28 (2%) had received ovarian granulosa cell tumor diagnoses. Most patients were diagnosed during middle age (in their 50s).
- Ovarian granulosa cell tumors can metastasize from the ovaries and fallopian tubes and spread throughout the body. For example, lymph nodes may be affected. However, researchers found that surgery can be an effective option for those whose cancer is still in the early stages.
- The overall prognosis was worse for those whose cancer had metastasized. Additionally, if surgery failed to remove the entire tumor, patients often had worse overall outcomes.
Doctors can protect their patients’ fertility through early-stage surgery. Additionally, patients with early-stage tumors do not require lymph node dissection. By performing surgery on patients with early-stage tumors, doctors can stop the cancer from progressing any further.