Rare Medical News

Disease Profile

Fallopian tube cancer

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

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ICD-10

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Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Other names (AKA)

Cancer of the fallopian tube

Categories

Rare Cancers

Summary

Fallopian tube cancer develops in the tubes that connect a woman's ovaries and uterus. It is very rare and accounts for only 1-2% of all gynecologic cancers

Fallopian tube cancer occurs when normal cells in one or both tubes change and grow in an uncontrolled way, forming a mass called a tumor. Cancer can begin in any of the different cell types that make up the fallopian tubes. The most common type is called adenocarcinoma (a cancer of cells from glands). Leiomyosarcoma (a cancer of smooth muscle cells) and transitional cell carcinoma (a cancer of the cells lining the fallopian tubes) are more rare. 

While some fallopian tube cancers actually begin in the tubes themselves, fallopian tube cancer is more often the result of cancer spreading from other parts of the body to the tubes. For example, the fallopian tubes are a common site of metastasis (spread) of cancers that started in the ovaries, uterus, endometrium, (the tissue lining the uterus) appendix, or colon. 

Women with fallopian tube cancer may experience symptoms, although some affected women may have no symptoms at all. The signs of fallopian tube cancer are often non-specific, meaning that they can also be signs of other medical conditions that are not cancer. Signs and symptoms of fallopian tube cancer can include: irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding (especially after menopause); occasional abdominal or pelvic pain or feeling of pressure; vaginal discharge that may be clear, white, or tinged with blood; and a pelvic mass or lump.

Doctors use many tests to diagnose cancer of the fallopian tubes. Some of these tests may include: pelvic examination, transvaginal ultrasound, a blood test that measures the tumor marker CA-125, computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Fallopian tube cancer can be best treated when detected early. If the cancer has spread to the walls of the tubes or outside of the tubes, then there is a lower chance that the disease can be treated successfully. The stage of the cancer determines the type of treatment needed. Most women will need surgery and some will go on to have chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. [1] [2]

Treatment

FDA-Approved Treatments

The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.

  • Bevacizumab(Brand name: Avastin) Manufactured by Genentech, Inc.
    FDA-approved indication: June 2018 approved in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, followed by Avastin as a single agent, to treat patients with stage III or IV epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer following initial surgical resection. December 2016 approved either in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel or in combination with carboplatin and gemcitabine, followed by Avastin as a single agent, to treat patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.
    National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal
    Medline Plus Health Information
  • Olaparib(Brand name: Lynparza) Manufactured by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
    FDA-approved indication: December 2018, olaparib (Lynparza) received expanded approval for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic BRCAmutated (gBRCAm or sBRCAm) advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum based chemotherapy. Select patients with gBRCAm advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer for therapy based on FDA-approved companion diagnostic for Lynparza. Original approval was in August 2017.
    National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal
    Medline Plus Health Information
  • Rucaparib(Brand name: Rubraca) Manufactured by Clovis Oncology, Inc.
    FDA-approved indication: April 2018 approved for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.
    National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal
    Medline Plus Health Information
  • Niraparib(Brand name: Zejula) Manufactured by Tesaro, Inc.
    FDA-approved indication: Indicated for maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.
    National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • Cancer.net provides oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and has information about Fallopian tube cancer.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Fallopian tube cancer. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

References

  1. University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. Fallopian Tube Cancer. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/fallopian_tube_cancer/. Accessed 5/6/2015.
  2. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO): Cancer.Net. Fallopian Tube Cancer: Overview. 07/2013; https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/fallopian-tube-cancer/overview. Accessed 5/6/2015.