A treatment for endometriosis and OHSS


Angiogenesis is the creation of new blood vessels in the body. While angiogenesis is critical to the discussion of healing wounds and tumors, it is also important for the ongoing process of female reproduction. The growth and breaking of blood vessels is a normal part of menstruation. On the flipside, when angiogenesis is not working properly for women, there can be painful consequences including infertility.

Reverses symptoms without compromising fertility

Prof. Ruth Shalgi and Dr. Dana Chuderland of Tel Aviv University have found a potential treatment for this abnormal growth in a potent physiological anti-angiogenic factor, PEDF. Administered by injection, this protein reverses the symptoms of related diseases without compromising fertility.

Millions of women could get relief from pain and infertility

There are two main diseases associated with angiogenesis: endometriosis and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Endometriosis is characterized by the passage of uterine cells to other locations in the body during menstruation. About 170 million women around the world suffer from endometriosis. It is very painful and can lead to infertility. OHSS may be a side effect of IVF and is potentially life threatening. About 10% of women undergoing IVF develop OHSS. No treatment exists for either pathology.

Successful treatment for other disease, tumors

In both diseases, rampant pro-angiogenic factors allow for abnormal vascularization. To counteract this effect, Prof. Shalgi and Dr. Chuderland turned to anti-angiogenic factors for balance. The effect of anti-angiogenic factors, like PEDF, has been extensively investigated in the eye and in tumors. Researchers hypothesized that the sane protein could play a role in diseases of the female reproductive system.

In tests, no negative impact on ovulation or fertility

Prof. Shalgi and Dr. Chuderland developed mice with endometriosis and OHSS. They injected the mice with the PEDF protein. There was a perfect reversal of symptoms. They also confirmed no negative impact on ovulation or pregnancy rate.

The next step is to commercialize the protein for therapeutic use. Since there are no treatment options for women with endometriosis or OHSS, this could bring long-awaited relief.

Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, MedicalNewsToday


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