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Adenocarcinoma of the fallopian tube and malignancies of the female reproductive system – a review of the literature
There has been a paradigm shift in the understanding of the role played by the fallopian tube in the development of malignancies involving the female reproductive system. In particular, malignancies affecting the ovaries, such as high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma and serous peritoneal carcinoma, are presently thought to originate from malignant seedlings derived from the fallopian tube. However, the literature on adenocarcinoma of the fallopian tube is limited despite the strategic role this malignancy plays in the pathogenesis of malignancies of the female reproductive system. In this review we discuss current knowledge of adenocarcinoma of the fallopian tube, including management. The role of adenocarcinoma of the fallopian tube in the development of other female reproductive system malignancies is also described, with the aim of identifying aspects of the condition that will need further study. A search of PubMed, using the keywords ‘adenocarcinoma’, ‘fallopian tube’, ‘treatment’ and ‘salpingectomy’, yielded 179 articles over the past 15 years, of which 40 were relevant to the review. The role played by adenocarcinoma and malignant precursor lesions of the fallopian tube in malignancies affecting other parts of the female reproductive system needs to be further researched to provide more understanding and possibly better management of these conditions.