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Close-up on endometriosis at 40th AAGL Global Congress
Date:10/25/2011

ildren, it's critical to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible," said Lakshmi. "Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of infertility. Many women are delaying childbearing into their 30s and even 40s these days, but if you have had untreated endometriosis for many years, it may be too late. And that is a real tragedy."

Since medical management options for endometriosis are extremely limited, laparoscopic excision surgery is the most effective treatment available at the present time.

The cause of endometriosis is not known. A strong genetic component is suspected for example, risk is increased seven-fold in daughters of women with endometriosis. Presentations at the AAGL meeting include research on abnormal expression of Homeobox (HOX) genes (2:45 PM, Tuesday, November 8) in both the uterine lining and in the lesions in women with endometriosis. Better understanding of these genes, which play a major role in infertility and cancer, may shed light on how and why endometriosis occurs.

Endometriosis probably has many causes, just as it has many manifestations, according to Linda G. Griffith, PhD, Director of the Center for Gynepathology Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Griffith leads efforts in her lab to replicate human tissue as a research model for endometriosis. In her Keynote address (8:30 AM, Tuesday, November 8) she seeks to stimulate a dialogue between surgeons and basic scientists that will help frame new research questions about the factors involved in endometriosis.

"Endometriosis is non-malignant, but it is far from benign," says Griffith. "It can have devastating health consequences for a woman, such as losing a kidney or a section of bowel or becoming infertile. There is a continuum from benign to malignant, and our understanding of endometriosis at the molecular level may open opportunities to help us understand metastatic cancer, and vice versa
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Contact: Barbara Hodgson
bhodgson@aagl.org
800-554-2245
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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