Endometrial cancer is the third most common gynecologic malignancy and the ninth most common malignancy for females overall in Hong Kong. Approximately 80% or more of these cancers are endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinomas. The aim of this study was to reveal genes contributing to the development of endometrioid endometrial cancer, which may impact diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of the disease. Whole-genome gene expression analysis was completed for a set of 55 microdissected sporadic endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinomas and 29 microdissected normal endometrium specimens using the Affymetrix Human U133 Plus 2.0 oligonucleotide microarray. Selected genes of interest were validated by quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Pathway analysis was performed to reveal gene interactions involved in endometrial tumorigenesis. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering displayed a distinct separation between the endometrioid adenocarcinomas and normal endometrium samples. Supervised analysis identified 117 highly differentially regulated genes (≥4.0-fold change), which distinguished the endometrial cancer specimens from normal endometrium. Twelve novel genes including DKK4, ZIC1, KIF1A, SAA2, LOC16378, ALPP2, CCL20, CXCL5, BST2, OLFM1, KLRC1 and MBC45780 were deregulated in the endometrial cancer, and further validated in an independent set of 56 cancer and 29 normal samples using qRT-PCR. In addition, 10 genes were differentially regulated in late-stage cancer, as compared to early-stage disease, and may be involved in tumor progression. Pathway analysis of the expression data from this tumor revealed an interconnected network consisting of 21 aberrantly regulated genes involved in angiogenesis, cell proliferation and chromosomal instability. The results of this study highlight the molecular features of endometrioid endometrial cancer and provide insight into the events underlying the development and progression of endometrioid endometrial cancer. © 2007 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.