A Recent Study Finds a New Way to Diagnose Endometrial Disease
Endometrial diseases such as endometriosis and cancer can now be diagnosed through a new way, which the biomedical researchers at KU Leuven have found.
They have been successful in growing the three-dimensional cell structures from the diseased tissues of patients. Apart from unraveling the diseases, this biobank is also helpful to test new drugs. Earlier in 2017, the researchers at KU Leuven had developed ‘organoids’ from a healthy endometrium. These ‘organoids’ were three-dimensional cell structures that were grown in a petri dish using the tissue fragments and cells derived from clinical biopsies.
The organoids were an exact replica of the original endometrial tissue.
After this research, the team has even moved on further and developed organoids of endometrial diseases such as endometriosis and endometrial cancer. The organoids are the same as the diseased tissue and therefore can be used to study the effect of drugs. This study also shows that the organoids of endometrial cancer in different patients are sensitive to chemotherapy drugs in a specific way. Further research is needed to check whether such types of tests can be helpful in the clinical treatment of individual patients, which may be called personalized medicine.
How Helpful Is the New Research?
Endometrial diseases often lead to infertility, and one of the common conditions is endometriosis, which involves the growth of endometrium-like tissue outside the uterine cavity. Endometriosis affects 1 among 10 women in their reproductive age throughout the world. The condition causes symptoms such as chronic abdominal pain and pain during sexual intercourse. Almost half of the patients are either subfertile or infertile. The treatment for endometriosis is surgery and permanent hormonal therapy that is not compatible with pregnancy.
Endometrial cancer is another common gynecological cancer in which tumors grow in the endometrium. The ability to grow and study the endometrial tissue in the laboratory has helped to have a better understanding and effective treatments for both diseases.
A biobank of organoids from healthy endometrium as well as diseased conditions exists. This helps to study how an aberrantly functioning endometrium causes infertility and also search for newer treatment methods. Thus, the new research model has offered the potential to understand and eventually treat endometrial diseases better.