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

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There are parallels between endometriosis and cancer, for example the endometrial cells' ability to migrate, vascularize and invade other tissues, some quite distant from the uterus. "Through cell and tissue engineering we can begin to understand the behavior of these cells, such as the pathways they follow and why. That will help us develop therapies targeted precisely at the subcellular factors that lead cells astray," she explains.

Griffith and her colleagues at MIT are developing research models that enable investigators to manipulate constellations of the factors involved in endometriosis, for example the cytokines of the immune system, and study their roles in the disease process.

Endometriosis can affect any pelvic organ or extra-pelvic organ. When it travels beyond the reproductive organs it most often affects the bowel or bladder; however, it has also been found in atypical sites (Virtual Poster 414), even the lungs (Virtual Posters 406 and 418).

Deep and invasive endometriosis can be particularly challenging to excise while preserving the health and functionality of adjacent organs. Keynote speaker Grace M. Janik, M.D., Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, will conduct live telesurgery of laparoscopic peritoneal resection of extensive endometriosis (9:00 AM, Tuesday, November 8). As the full extent of the disease is revealed during the surgery, Dr. Janik will discuss the actions the surgeon must take along the way, including possible treatment involving the bowel and urinary tract.

Sessions at the AAGL meeting offer training for the best means of eradicating endometriotic lesions using conservative approaches. A CME course, "Endometriosis Bowel Resection vs. Shaving," takes the form of a Video Challenge (12:05 PM, Tuesday, November 8) where surgeons must judge whether to treat endometriosis that has infiltrated the bowel by removing the disea
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Contact: Barbara Hodgson
bhodgson@aagl.org
800-554-2245
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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