Ovarian Cancer pp 147-163 | Cite as

Aberrant Epithelial Differentiation in Ovarian Cancer

  • Elizabeth R. Smith
  • Kathy Qi Cai
  • Callinice D. Capo-chichi
  • Xiang- Xi XuEmail author
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 149)


It is well recognized that cancer cells often appear in an inappropriately differentiated stage, and the term “dedifferentiation” is often used.1, 2, 3, 4 Dedifferentiation is a prominent feature of cancer cells; however, the causative mechanism is not well understood. Even the meaning of “dedifferentiation” is not well defined and is often used to refer to various aspects of cell changes associated with neoplastic transformation. The phenotype of ovarian cancer described as “undifferentiated” or “dedifferentiated” often refers to the apparent changes of the cancer cells toward a less epithelial-like morphology. However, such a definition is subjective and lacks molecular determinants.

To provide a molecular interpretation of “dedifferentiation” of cancer cells, one may consider the concept of cell lineage differentiation prominent in developmental biology, in which a primordial cell undergoes change in its global gene expression profile toward a specific mature cell type....


Ovarian Cancer Cancer Stem Cell Ovarian Cancer Cell Ovarian Cancer Cell Line Ovarian Surface Epithelium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We acknowledge the excellent technical assistance from Jennifer Smedberg and Malgorzata Rula in the laboratory research that produced the results cited in this chapter. We are grateful to the laboratory members for their suggestions, comments, and reading and editing during the course of the experiments and preparation of the manuscript. These studies were supported by funds from grants R01 CA095071, CA79716, and CA75389 to X.X. Xu from NCI, NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R. Smith
    • 1
  • Kathy Qi Cai
    • 1
  • Callinice D. Capo-chichi
    • 1
  • Xiang- Xi Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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