The development of the DNA microarray technique facilitated systematic studies of the modulation of gene function. Considerable attention has been focused on members of the growth factor family to elucidate the main regulators of oocyte maturation and ovarian follicle rupture. Among these growth factors, it was found, both in rodents and in humans, that amphiregulin (Ar) and epiregulin (Ep) of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family were dramatically up-regulated by gonadotrophins in the intact ovary and in primary granulosa cells, respectively. Their role in cumulus expansion and oocyte maturation was established in rodents, and their synthesis under LH stimulation in granulosa cells was demonstrated in humans. To be activated, Ar and Ep must be cleaved by a disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs) family. However, the precise processing of Ar and Ep by the cumulus cells is still obscure. Future investigations using DNA microarray technique may reveal the repertoire of genes activated in Ar- and Ep-stimulated cumulus cells and may help elucidate the molecular basis of ovulation. EFG-like factors are also involved in triggering ovarian cancer The author hypothesized that the normal ovary maintains cyclicity in the formation of these growth factors preventing the ovary from developing ovarian cancer In ovarian cancer these growth factors are continuously formed in an autocrine manner, leading to transformation and subsequently to ovarian cancer. These growth factors are essential for both normal and neoplastic transformation of the ovary. Taking into consideration these growth factors in the treatment of ovarian malfunction may be one way of curing ovarian cancer.