The aim of this narrative review was to summarize the current evidence on Krukenberg tumors (KTs), addressing what is known on their natural history and their impact on the clinical prognosis and which are the most appropriate management strategies to treat this condition. A literature search was conducted on Pubmed up to December 2016, selecting the most relevant studies on the basis of the scope of the review. KTs are ovarian metastases from primary signet-ring cell carcinomas., characterized by the presence of a sarcoma-like stroma. They have three possible routes of diffusion (lymphatic, peritoneal and hematogenous), but the preferential one is still unclear. Prognosis is dismal. When KTs are encountered in the clinical practice, it is reasonable to offer surgical resection to young, fit patients with limited disease. Palliative surgery should be considered for all patients with symptomatic disease. Further studies should clarify the clinicopathologic characteristics of KTs, their main routes of diffusion, and the possible role of prophylactic oophorectomy, lymphadenectomy and intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Molecular and transitional research should parallel the clinical one to help understanding the natural history of signet-ring cell carcinomas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Krukenberg tumor
  • Oncology
  • Ovarian metastases
  • Signet ring cells
  • Surgery


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