Alison M. Karst

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High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma presents significant clinical and therapeutic challenges. Although the traditional model of carcinogenesis has focused on the ovary as a tumor initiation site, recent studies suggest that there may be additional sites of origin outside the ovary, namely the secretory cells of the fallopian tube. Our study demonstrates(More)
High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is a lethal disease for which improved screening and treatment strategies are urgently needed. Progress in these areas is impeded by our poor understanding of HGSOC pathogenesis. Most ovarian cancer research is based on the hypothesis that HGSOC arises from ovarian surface epithelial cells. However, recent studies(More)
Ovarian cancer is a deadly disease for which there is no effective means of early detection. Ovarian carcinomas comprise a diverse group of neoplasms, exhibiting a wide range of morphological characteristics, clinical manifestations, genetic alterations, and tumor behaviors. This high degree of heterogeneity presents a major clinical challenge in both(More)
The comprehensive characterization of a large number of cancer genomes will eventually lead to a compendium of genetic alterations in specific cancers. Unfortunately, the number and complexity of identified alterations complicate endeavors to identify biologically relevant mutations critical for tumor maintenance because many of these targets are not(More)
Cutaneous malignant melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer, characterized by strong chemoresistance and poor patient prognosis. The molecular mechanisms underlying its resistance to chemotherapy remain unclear but are speculated to involve the dysregulation of apoptotic pathways. In this study, we sought to determine whether PUMA (p53 upregulated(More)
Metastatic dissemination of ovarian tumors involves the invasion of tumor cell clusters into the mesothelial cell lining of peritoneal cavity organs; however, the tumor-specific factors that allow ovarian cancer cells to spread are unclear. We used an in vitro assay that models the initial step of ovarian cancer metastasis, clearance of the mesothelial cell(More)
Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) signaling is deregulated in many tumor types, resulting in aberrant expression and/or activation of NF-kappaB transcriptional complexes. We have previously reported that nuclear expression of the NF-kappaB subunit p50 is strongly correlated with melanoma progression and poor 5-year patient survival. In this study, we used(More)
Primary human fallopian tube secretory epithelial cell (FTSEC) cultures are useful for studying normal fallopian tube epithelial biology, as well as for developing models of fallopian tube disease, such as cancer. Because of the limited ability of primary human FTSECs to proliferate in vitro, it is necessary to immortalize them in order to establish a cell(More)
The fallopian tube is now generally considered the dominant site of origin for high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. However, the molecular pathogenesis of fallopian tube-derived serous carcinomas is poorly understood and there are few experimental studies examining the transformation of human fallopian tube cells. Prompted by recent genomic analyses that(More)
Malignant melanoma is an aggressive and chemoresistant form of skin cancer characterized by rapid metastasis and poor patient prognosis. The development of innovative therapies with improved efficacy is critical to treatment of this disease. Here, we show that aberrant expression of two proteins, p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) and(More)