Tag Archives: endometriosis

World’s first ‘menstrual cycle on a chip’ created to develop individualized treatments for women suffering from reproductive problems

The world’s first ‘menstrual cycle on a chip’ could change the future of research into gynecological problems, scientists claim.

The cube-shaped device, called Evatar, is a palm-sized recreation of the female reproductive tract.

It is made with human tissue cultured from stem cells and contains 3D models of ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb, cervix and vagina, as well as the liver.

The creation of the novel tool marks the first time scientists have been able to mimic the interplay between tissues and hormones.

Researchers plan to use the device to investigate conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, reproductive organ cancers and infertility.

Dr Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, where the device was created, said: ‘This is nothing short of a revolutionary technology.

‘If I had your stem cells and created a heart, liver, lung and an ovary, I could test 10 different drugs at 10 different doses on you and say, “Here’s the drug that will help your Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or diabetes”.

‘This will help us develop individualized treatments and see how females may metabolize drugs differently from males.’

The landmark study shows how the 28-day menstrual cycle can be mimicked using ‘organ on a chip’ technology.

The researchers used human stem cells to culture a combination of tissues of the ovary, fallopian tube, womb, cervix and liver in the device for four weeks.

Each ‘organ’ occupies its own brown cube and a special fluid pumps through each pea-sized organ to perform the function of blood.

The organs are able to communicate with each other via secreted substances, including hormones such as estrogen, to closely resemble how they all work together in the body.

The project is part of a larger effort by the US National Institutes of Health to create a ‘body on a chip’.

Read more at The Daily Mail


Epidemiology of Adnexal Tumors

The determination of the precise frequency of adnexal masses is impossible as some adnexal tumors go undiagnosed. A variety of age groups need to be considered while estimating the clinical significance of adnexal masses.

Children to adolescents
Nearly 80% of ovarian cysts in girls under 9 years are malignant and those are mostly germ cell tumors.

About half of the adnexal neoplasms in adolescent girls are mature cystic teratomas or dermoid cysts. Women who have a Y chromosome-carrying gonad stand a 25% chance of developing a cancerous growth.

Overall, about 10% of ovarian cancers were found to be hereditary. Patients with a family history of a non-polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome or breast-ovarian cancer syndrome were at an increased risk for developing cancerous tumors.

Endometriosis, though not common in adolescence, may be present in about half of women who have a painful mass. In adolescent women who are sexually active, tubo-ovarian abscess must be considered as a possible cause of an adnexal mass.

Most adnexal masses in reproductive age women are benign cysts. Only 10% of masses are malignant. The rate of malignancy is low in patients aged under 30.

About 25% of adnexal growths are endometriomas, 33% are mature cystic teratomas, and the rest are functional cysts or serous or mucinous cystadenomas.

No matter what the age group is, physicians must take into account the possibility of structural deformities and uterine masses. Also, in all premenopausal women, pregnancy-related adnexal masses such as ectopic pregnancy, corpus luteum cysts, theca lutein cysts, and luteomas should be considered.

Research findings
A research conducted by the Duke Evidence-based Practice Center on a contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancies in the US. The annual incidence of ovarian cancer was over 25,000 with an annual mortality of about 14,000.

Read more at News-medical.net