Table 1

Clinicopathological characteristics of ovarian tumours

FrequencyMean ageLaterality
(mean size)
StageMacroMicroGradeChemoresponse 5-year
Primary ovarian malignancies
HGSC70%63BilateralIII–IVPapillary, solid-cystic with necrosis and haemorrhageSolid, papillary and glandular growth of large cells with pleomorphic nuclei and prominent nucleoli. Brisk mitotic activityHighGood30%EMC, CCC, TCC, LGSC
LGSC3%–5%53BilateralIIICystic, papillary with calcificationsSmall nest or micropapillae of uniform cells with mild–moderate atypia within stroma. Psammoma bodies. Associated with SBTLowModerate85%HGSC, CCC, SBT
(15 cm)
ISolid or Solid-cysticBack-to-back tubular or cribriform glands, focally mucinous, secretory or squamoid endometriosisLowGood78%MC, HGSC, metastasis
(15 cm)
ISolid-cysticTubulocystic, papillary and solid growth, clear cuboidal cells, sometimes eosinophilic, papillae hyalinised stroma, with endometriosisHighPoor75%HGSC, mixed HGSC/EMC, LGSC, YST
(>12 cm)
ISolid-cysticVariably atypical cells with expansile or destructive invasive pattern. Heterogeneous tumours with benign, MBT and carcinoma featuresLowPoor>90%Metastasis
SMCRare40–50BilateralISolid or solid-cysticMixture of Müllerian cell phenotypes associated with SMBTLowNAPoorHGSC, EMC
(14 cm)
IIISolid with necrosis and haemorrhageHGSC or EMC component plus sarcomatous component, either non-specific or heterologous (chondro, rhabdomyo, osteo, lipo)HighModerate15%–30%HGSC, EMC with spindle elements
(10 cm)
ISolid-cysticDiffuse, trabecular, insular or microfollicular growth pattern of uniform small cells with round to oval nuclei, rare grooves and scant pale cytoplasmLowModerate60%HGSC, SCC-HT
(15 cm)
IIISolid-cystic, pale with necrosis and haemorrhageDiffuse pattern with follicle-like spaces, small homogeneous hyperchromatic cells, mitotically active, sometimes with intermingled larger eosinophilic cells with large nuclei and prominent nucleiHighModerate40%HGSC, GCT
Metastatic adenocarcinoma*
(12 cm)
IVSolid, friable with necrosis and haemorrhageSmall or large glands, often cribriform, composed of non-mucinous atypical cells with central dirty necrosisHighNAPoorMC
BiliopancreaticRare60BilateralIVSolid-cysticSmall or large glands into desmoplastic stroma or scarce stromaVariableNAPoorMC, MBLT
(<5 cm)
IVSolidDuctal or lobular carcinoma
(with a 3:1 proportion)
(15/11 cm)
IVMulticystic and mucoid or solid and firmLow-grade mucinous neoplasm with abundant mucin or mucinous adenocarcinoma, that is, goblet cell carcinoid, signet ring carcinoma or intestinal-type adenocarcinomaLow/highNAGood or poorMC, MBLT
(12 cm)
IVSolid, firm, oedematousSignet ring cells arranged in tubules or sheets and intestinal-type glandsHighNAPoorMC
(13 cm)
IVSolid, nodularEndometrioid or mucinous glands with villoglandular, papillary and cribriform architecture, composed of atypical cells with hyperchromatic elongated nuclei, apoptotic bodies and many mitosisHighNAFavourableMC, MBLT
(<5 cm)
IIIaSolid, nodularEndometrioid or serous carcinoma with lymphovascular emboliHighNAPoorMC, EMC
  • *Typically, metastatic mucinous carcinomas are bilateral, smaller (<12 cm), with nodular growth pattern and with ovarian surface involvement.

  • CCC, clear cell carcinoma; EMC, endometrioid carcinoma; GCT, granulosa cell tumour; HGSC, high-grade serous carcinoma; LGSC, low-grade serous carcinoma;  MBLT, mucinous borderline tumour; MC, mucinous carcinoma; MMMT, malignant mixed Müllerian tumour; NA, not available; SBT, serous borderline tumour; SCC-HT, small cell carcinoma of hypercalcaemic type; SMC, seromucinous carcinoma; TCC, transitional cell carcinoma; USC, uterine serous carcinoma; YST, yolk sac tumour.