Could stem cell therapy be the next step to help cure endometriosis?

An individual sitting on the ground, arms wrapped around knees. Can only see from teh elbows down.

Recent research shows that defective fibroblast cells, which are cells that synthesize the “glue” that holds your tissues together, can cause many diseases such as cancer. There is a family of fibroblasts cells in the endometrial lining of the uterus that has been linked to endometriosis, infertility, and even cancer if mutated. However, scientists at Northwestern University found that induced pluripotent stem cells can replace those mutated cells to regenerate the endometrium and become an effective therapy for people who suffer from these conditions. 


Stem cells have been at the forefront of cell-mediated therapy, using the body’s own cells to fight disease. The basic premise is that you take skin or bone marrow cells and through a series of steps, reprogram them to “go back in time” to an embryonic-like state. Then, these cells can develop into any type of cell you would like in the body. The greatest thing about this biotechnology is that the cells are your own so there is little risk for rejection by your immune system, unlike transplants.  Another source of stem cells is embryonic stem cells, which can be collected at birth and stored.


Patients that have endometriosis may have issues with how their cells respond to progesterone. With this technology, if the impaired endometrial cells can be replaced by the healthy cells created through stem cell technology, people who suffer from inflammation and pain in the uterus may be able to get relief from their symptoms. As these healthy cells grow and fully replace the bad cells, the endometrium may be able to recover its implantation ability to correct another common symptom of endometriosis – infertility.


Through the power of biotechnology, we are hopeful for these innovating ways of treating endometrial pain and infertility.


El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems.   Drs. Amy TengErika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.   Dr. Erika Balassiano has also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.


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