Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer: an Integrative Review (Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer)

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Universidade de Fortaleza

2 Federal University of Ceará (UFC)

3 University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR).

4 University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR)

5 Federal University of Ceará (UFC).


Despite being initially considered a benign disease, it is widely thought nowadays that endometriosis and especially ovarian endometriomas are neoplastic conditions with the potential to become malignant. This review was conducted to summarize, in a concise and systematic manner, the available scientific data relating endometriosis to ovarian cancer, published in the past five years. After reading abstracts and applying our predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria, a final list of 11 scientific papers was obtained and subjected to review. Endometriosis is associated with an increased risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), mainly of endometrioid and clear cell subtypes. This might be by virtue of the high estrogen concentration with the disease, which leads to malignant proliferation of endometriotic cysts, or be due to mutations in the ARID1A gene and consequent loss of BAF250a expression. The iron produced in the fluid of endometriotic cysts promotes oxidative stress, which in turn may cause genetic mutations and malignant progression of ovarian cysts.