Women's Health

Biomedical Engineering Student Seeks to Understand Early Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Supporting the conclusion that ovarian cancer begins in the fallopian tubes

Researchers used to believe that ovarian cancer was brought about from cells on the surface of the ovaries. However, recent findings suggest that ovarian cancer actually develops with the fallopian tube cells. More specifically, Flanigan stresses that ovarian cancer starts with the cells from the fimbria, a group of fingerlike projects at the end of the fallopian tube. They shed their cells on a regular basis and float around on their own. Ultimately, the floating cells terminate themselves by means of anoikis – “programmed cell death”. Anoikis is a process that ensures abnormal cells do not multiply out of control or cause problems within the body. However, this process does not always take place.