Throughout 2015, Endometriosis News has provided continuous, daily coverage of the latest science, research, and advocacy news about endometriosis, a disease estimated to affect as much as 10% of all women worldwide but still considered an under-recognized illness. As the year comes to an end, here are the 10 articles most widely read by Endometriosis News readers, each with a brief summary of the developments that made them of such interest to endometriosis patients, caregivers and their loved ones.
The life science company ValiRx, plc, was granted a patent approval in the United Kingdom for its lead therapy candidate for the treatment of endometriosis — or hormone induced abnormal cell growth in women — called VAL201. The patent was awarded by the U.K. Patent Office and enables ValiRx to advance the development of its experimental treatment.
Padma Lakshmi, co-host of Top Chef, talks openly about her struggle with endometriosis. The TV personality has sought to use her celebrity status to bring more awareness to the disease, which is still considered to have many unmet medical needs.
In an editorial titled “Is endometriosis a preneoplastic condition?” and published in Women’s Health journal, Dr. Fuat Demirkiran reviewed what is presently known about the relationship between endometriosis and cancer. Endometriosis is a benign chronic gynecologic condition that very rarely transforms into cancer cells, but there are several studies corroborating this relationship. The actual causes of endometriosis and ovarian cancer are still poorly understood, nevertheless, some factors decrease the risk of both diseases, while the two also share some similarities, such as the ability of cells to invade and spread.
Research presented during the annual American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, revealed several novel genes behind the cause of endometriosis. In an oral presentation, Dr. Kenneth Ward, CEO of Juneau Biosciences, described the alterations found to be linked with endometriosis by modern DNA sequencing technologies. Researchers studied hundreds of women with endometriosis and compared them to healthy controls using the latest DNA sequencing techniques, concluding there are serious mutations in DNA samples from women diagnosed with endometriosis, most of them not described in previous studies.
Evotec AG announced that its multi-target collaboration with Bayer HealthCare has reached significant pre-clinical milestones in two projects for the possible treatment of endometriosis, moving those projects into late-stage discovery and pre-clinical development. The goal of the partnership, which began in October 2012, is to develop three clinical candidates by 2017, with each company contributing drug targets and technology facilities as well as sharing responsibility for new endometriosis treatments.
Genetics are known to be one of the reasons for the development of endometriosis, but the specific genes involved in this process are not known. Recent findings have shown that a specific gene change, called an nm23 polymorphism, does not appear to affect the risk of endometriosis. The study, published in the journal Biomedical Reports, focuses on the nm23 gene, also known as NME1.
Although much is known about the clinical manifestations of endometriosis, its specific causes continue to elude researchers. In this study, researchers proposed a novel theory explaining the symptoms of the disease. The paper, published in the Fertility and Sterility journal, explores the possibility of trauma as the cause of endometriosis.
Endometriosis and breast cancer are two very common diseases with some shared risk factors, including hormone dependency. Estrogen hormone equilibrium disorders are believed to possibly cause both diseases. There are several substances known as endocrine disruptors that alter human hormone regulation, some of them mimicking natural estrogen. Researchers from the Florida International University, Miami, published a study aiming to find an integrated approach to the relationship between endocrine disruptor substances and both endometriosis and breast cancer.
Predictive Technology Group, Inc., was issued a U.S. patent covering a progesterone/progestin/cannabis therapeutic and a Method of Use for the treatment of endometriosis. A subsidiary, Predictive Therapeutics, LLC, now has exclusive rights to the patent (US Patent 9,149,499). According to the patent application abstract, the product is a compound composed of cannabis, progestin and progesterone.
Phthalates are substances known to affect hormone metabolism and function in animals and possibly in humans. They are found in several consumer products, including building materials, automobile parts, clothing, food packaging, toys, and medical devices. Human exposure may come from contaminated food during food processing at factories, packaging materials, and cosmetic products. Several past studies hint at the connection between phthalate exposure and endometriosis. A recent study, entitled “Possible role of phthalate in the pathogenesis of endometriosis: in vitro, animal, and human data,” attempted to understand the link between these toxic chemicals and endometriosis.
Be sure to follow Endometriosis News daily throughout 2016 for ongoing coverage of the latest scientific breakthroughs and developments related to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.