Metabolic risk factors and mechanisms of disease in epithelial ovarian cancer: A review

Academic Article


  • Objective Epithelial ovarian cancer continues to be the deadliest gynecologic malignancy. Patients with both diabetes mellitus and obesity have poorer outcomes, yet research correlating metabolic abnormalities, such as metabolic syndrome, to ovarian cancer risk and outcomes is lacking. This article reviews the literature regarding metabolic derangements and their relationship to epithelial ovarian cancer, with a focus on potential mechanisms behind these associations. Methods PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for articles in the English language regarding epithelial ovarian cancer, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome, with a focus on studies conducted since 1990. Results Obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome have been associated with poor outcomes in epithelial ovarian cancer. More studies investigating the relationship between metabolic syndrome and epithelial ovarian cancer are needed. A variety of pathologic factors may contribute to cancer risk in patients with metabolic derangements, including altered adipokine and cytokine expression, altered immune responses to tumor cells, and changes in pro-tumorigenic signaling pathways. Conclusion More research is needed to examine the effects of metabolic syndrome on epithelial ovarian cancer risk and mortality, as well as the underlying pathophysiologies in patients with obesity, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome that may be targeted for therapeutic intervention.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Craig ER; LondoƱo AI; Norian LA; Arend RC
  • Start Page

  • 674
  • End Page

  • 683
  • Volume

  • 143
  • Issue

  • 3