While all types of ovarian cancer are uncommon, certain subtypes are extremely rare. About 10% to 15% of ovarian tumors are considered rare, accounting for fewer than 3,500 new cases each year in the United States.
MD Anderson is one of the nation’s leading referral centers for diagnosis and treatment of rare ovarian cancers. As one of the few institutions with specialized experience and expertise in these types of cancer, we offer personalized care, including the most advanced therapies, which may increase your chances for successful treatment.
In addition, our ovarian cancer research is at the forefront of discovering new and more effective ways to treat rare ovarian cancers. As a result, we are able to offer clinical trials for several subtypes, including low-grade serous, mucinous, clear cell carcinomas and sex cord stromal tumors. Many of these trials are available at only a few centers in the country.
Each of the following subtypes of ovarian cancer has unique molecular characteristics, and specific treatment is emerging for each subtype. Most are treated with a multi-therapy approach, which may include surgery and chemotherapy, as well as other treatments such as hormonal therapy or targeted therapies.
Types of Rare Ovarian Cancers
Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors
- Yolk sac tumor
- Immature teratoma
- Embryonal carcinoma
- Nongestational choriocarcinoma
- Mixed germ cell tumor
Sex Cord-Stromal Tumors
- Granulosa cell tumor
- Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor
Rare Epithelial Ovarian Cancers
- Clear cell carcinoma
- Mucinous carcinoma
- Low-grade serous carcinoma
- Transitional cell carcinoma
- Endometrioid carcinoma
- Tumors of Low Malignant Potential (Borderline tumors)
Small cell carcinoma
MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.