Researchers from Michigan State University have published a study that offers a glimmer of hope to sufferers of the most severe type of endometriosis.
Women who have a particular type of mutation in a gene called ARID1A, are likely to suffer from the most intense form of the disease. Uterine cells can form deep implants in other areas of the body, which requires intensive treatment and cause severe pain.
The mutated gene means that “super enhancers”, which determine the function of cells, are out of control. A new type of treatment called “epigenetic therapy” can control how genes are expressed, and could potentially switch off the mutated gene. If successful, this could be more effective than hormone treatment, pain management and even surgery.
1 in 10 women is thought to suffer from endometriosis, which is an invisible illness that causes intense and debilitating pain, as well as many other symptoms. It is caused by womb tissue forming in other areas of the body.
While awareness of endometriosis is improving amongst doctors and the public, many women have to wait several years for a diagnosis, and even longer for treatment. Our endometriosis columnist Emma Kemsley writes regular columns about her stage 4 endometriosis. Read the amazing open letter about endo that went viral here.