The distinct pathologic and biologic nature of ovarian tumors of low malignant potential (LMP) has been officially recognized by FIGO and the World Health Organization. LMP tumors may comprise 10% of ovarian neoplasms; they occur at a mean age of 40 years. Pregnancy, breast-feeding, and the use of oral contraceptives are protective against the development of tumors of LMP. A history of infertility and use of infertility drugs appear to increase the risk of these tumors. No association with hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes has been reported. The survival associated with these tumors is 99% at mean follow-up of 7 years for patients with stage I disease, and 92% for those with stage II and II disease. Retrospectively, more patients appear to have died from complications associated with adjuvant therapy than from progressive disease. The recommended treatment is surgical, consisting of total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, pelvic and para-aortic lymph node biopsies, peritoneal washings, and tumor debulking. In young patients with early-stage disease, conservative surgery, preserving the uterus and contralateral ovary, is acceptable. A role has not yet been established for adjuvant therapy, whether radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Laboratory investigations have not demonstrated that these tumors represent an intermediate step between benign ovarian tumors and carcinoma nor have they identified that small subset of tumors with aggressive clinical behavior. We should perhaps consider tumors of LMP in the same light as “benign” proliferative gynecologic conditions, such as endometriosis and leiomyomata.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology