France–Brazil Cooperative Study Assesses Treatments for Endometriosis

Posted February 6, 2019

A comparison between drugs used for the treatment of endometriosis, by observing the effects of these drugs on cells harvested from patients with the disease, could lead to insights on how to boost pharmaceutical treatment strategies and even boos the anti-inflammatory and free radical-neutralizing effects of these medications. These are the goals of a study being carried out at the Laboratory of Oxidative Stress, Cell Proliferation, and Inflammation of the Institut Cochin, in Paris, in partnership with the coordinator of the INCT Hormona Center at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Professor Fernando Reis.

Professor Reis was in France from October 2017 through September 2018, participating in several stages of the study, supported by a CNPq research grant. “We want to understand the molecular interactions of these drugs, how they work in the cell, and their advantages and limitations in terms of effectiveness. In so doing, we hope to find out whether their mechanisms of action differ, whether these differences would allow us to offer different treatments for patients with different characteristics, and whether the composition of the medications themselves might be modified to improve their effectiveness”, he notes.

The drugs assessed in the study are a classic progestogen (medroxyprogesterone acetate), a newer-generation progestogen (dienogest), and a selective progesterone receptor modulator (ulipristal acetate), which is not yet available in Brazil. According to the Professor, each of these drugs is tested on samples of cells collected from women who underwent treatment for endometriosis between the ages of 25 and 45. The first results are expected to be released later this year.

Text and editing: Luiz Sérgio Dibe
Photo credit: Dr. Fernando Reis