Rare Nephrology News

Disease Profile

Brenner tumor of ovary

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.


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Age of onset





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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Ovarian Brenner tumor


Rare Cancers


Brenner tumor of the ovary is a solid, abnormal growth (tumor) on the ovary. Most Brenner tumors are not cancerous (benign). About 5% of Brenner tumors are cancerous (malignant) or have a small chance of spreading beyond its original location (borderline).[1][2][3] These tumors most often occur in women after menopause. They usually do not cause symptoms unless they are very large.[1][3][4] When symptoms are present, they may include abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding.[2] The cause of Brenner tumors is unknown. They are usually found by accident during surgery for another reason or during a routine doctor's examination. The diagnosis is made by microscopic examination of a piece of tumor obtained by a surgical biopsy. Treatment usually consists of surgery to remove the tumor.[2][3][4] If a Brenner tumor has not spread into surrounding tissues or to more distant parts of the body, there is a good-to-excellent long-term outcome.[1][2]


Most Brenner tumors do not cause any symptoms.[1][2] If the tumor is quite large, it may cause pain or discomfort in one side of the abdomen.[3] Women who are post-menopausal may experience vaginal bleeding as a symptom.[2][3] If the Brenner tumor is malignant (cancerous), it may cause symptoms similar to other types of ovarian cancer, including abdominal swelling and difficulty with bladder control.[5]


The cause of benign and malignant Brenner tumors is not known. About 30% of the time, benign Brenner tumors are found along with ovarian cancer.[2] Women who have any type of ovarian cancer, including a malignant Brenner tumor, may want to ask their health care professional about genetic counseling because ovarian cancer is sometimes associated with a gene mutation that can be inherited in families.[6]


Approximately 90% of Brenner tumors of the ovary are first discovered by chance during surgery, a routine pelvic exam or an ultrasound.[1][2][3][4] Brenner tumors are ultimately diagnosed by a surgical biopsy. Brenner tumors have specific microscopic findings that help guide diagnosis. Blood test for specific tumor markers may also be helpful.[4][5]


Treatment of Brenner tumors of the ovary usually consists of surgery to remove the tumor.[2][3][4][5] If the tumor is found to be cancerous, it may be necessary to do more extensive surgery, including removing both ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus (total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy), followed by chemotherapy or radiation. The age of the woman and whether she has a hereditary cancer syndrome may be factors in deciding the best course of treatment.[5] For women who are past the age of menopause, it is recommended that both ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus be removed. Younger women may want to consider less surgery to help preserve fertility and keep one working ovary.[4] Additional treatment may depend on the stage of the cancer and the extent it has spread beyond the ovary.


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

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    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.

    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 Brenner tumor of ovary. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


      1. Goldberg A. Benign Lesions of the Ovaries. Medscape Reference. Feb.28, 2018; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/265548-overview.
      2. Borah T, Mahanta RK, Bora BD, Saikia S. Brenner tumor of the ovary: An incidental finding. J Midlife Health. 2011 Jan-Jun; 291:40-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156501.
      3. Douherty D, Onyemkpa C, Engel M, Oyasijic T. A case report of an incidental Brenner tumor found after resection of a large ovarian mucinous neoplasm. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2018; 49:40-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039703.
      4. Nasioudis D, Sisti G, Holcomb K, Kanninen T, Witkin S. Malignant Brenner tumors of the ovary; a population-based analysis. Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 142:44-49. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27130406.
      5. Lang SM, Mills AM, Cantrell LA. Malignant Brenner tumor of the ovary: Review and case report. Gynecol Oncol Reports. 2017; 22:26-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608552.
      6. Toboni MD, Smith HJ, Dilley SE, Novak L, Leath CA. Malignant Brenner tumor associated with a germline BRCA2 mutation. Gynecol Oncol Reports. 2017; 21:17-19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5458647/pdf/main.pdf.

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