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Subspecialties Screening and monitoring, Oncology

Stromal Secrets

At a Glance

  • Endometriosis is a common condition – but few researchers are focusing heavily on its diagnosis or treatment
  • Currently, the only definitive endometriosis diagnostic is laparoscopic observation of lesions
  • Stromal and natural killer cells present in menstrual blood may offer a new, noninvasive way of identifying patients with the disease
  • In the future, cell characteristics may also help personalize treatment for these patients

When patients present with pelvic pain or infertility, it’s not often that a doctor’s first thought is endometriosis. It can be even more difficult to have such symptoms taken seriously when the level of pain seems so disproportionate to the disease – and when the gold standard for diagnosis is laparoscopy or uterine biopsy, many physicians hesitate to suggest such invasive interventions for what is frequently perceived as a minor issue. But endometriosis is, in fact, anything but – and, with menstrual effluent providing a potential new, noninvasive approach to testing, patients with the condition may soon receive the diagnosis and treatment they so desperately seek.

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About the Author

Peter K. Gregersen

Peter K. Gregersen is Professor and Director of the Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Manhasset, USA.

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