Professors Linda Giudice and Liselotte Mettler were honoured at EFA’s 6th Annual Blossom Ball with the inaugural Harry Reich Award.
Yesterday evening, the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) awarded the inaugural Harry Reich Award to recognise two extraordinary healthcare professionals, Professors Linda Giudice and Liselotte Mettler, for the difference these two women have made in the lives of other women through their practice, research, and advocacy.
Tamer Seckin presenting Linda Giudice with her Award at the Blossom Ball
In announcing these two awards, co-founder of EFA, Dr Tamer Seckin, emphasised how the achievements of both Linda Giudice and Liselotte Mettler are an inspiration and encouragement for women (with and without endometriosis) to take charge of their health!
Her research focuses on environmental impacts on reproductive health, steroid hormone signalling in human endometrium, endometrial-placental interactions, endometrium as a mucosal tissue, and translational applications of human embryonic and endometrial stem cells. She is distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Reproductive Sciences at the University of California San Francisco, immediate past-president of the ASRM, president-elect of the World Endometriosis Society, vice-president of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Tamer Seckin presenting Liselotte Mettler with her Award at the Blossom Ball
Professor Emeritus Mettler has specialised in reproductive medicine, gynaecological endoscopy, endometriosis, and gynaecological endocrinology since 1981 when she became deputy director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Kiel. Following her retirement she remains an honorary patron of the Kiel School of Gynaecological Endoscopy and Reproductive Medicine, where she still teaches up to a dozen international training courses each year.
She is also visiting professor to the German Medical Center and the Dubai Healthcare City. Professor Mettler is a former board member and current ambassador of the World Endometriosis Society, a board member of the German Foundation for Endometriosis Research (SEF), and the General Secretary of the International Academy of Human Reproduction.
The Harry Reich Award
The Harry Reich Award is awarded by EFA to recognise extraordinary healthcare professionals, who are making a difference in women’s lives (and their families) by their practice, research, and advocacy.
Harry Reich with honouree Linda Giudice at the Blossom Ball
The award is named for Dr Harry Reich, a pioneer in the field of laparoscopic surgery, who performed many “firsts”, including: the first laparoscopic hysterectomy, the first pelvic lymphadenectomy for cancer, and the first excision of cul-de-sac endometriosis that included rectal resection.
Dr Reich, who has operated in more than 60 countries, is an honorary professor in Russia and Romania, as well as a Fellow (ad eundem) of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK for his pioneering work in the field of endoscopy. Though retired, Dr Reich remains actively involved in many medical organisations and serves as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals.
Dr. Drew Pinsky is a board certified internist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at USC, but most of us know him better as radio and cable television’s most tireless ambulance chaser. Over the years, he’s doled out a variety of less than sound and/or helpful ideas. But when he speculated recently to a “Loveline” caller about his fiancée’s endometriosis, he definitively made the case against getting medical advice from flippant talk show hosts.
As Erin Gloria Ryan first noted on Jezebel, Pinsky was fielding a call from a man who was concerned about his girlfriend’s “multitude of conditions,” including endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, lactose intolerance and what he described as “no stomach lining.” The good doctor quickly interjected before the listener could even pose his question, explaining, “These are what we call sort of functional disorders. Everything you mentioned, everything you mentioned, are things that actually aren’t discernibly pathological. They’re what we call ‘garbage bag diagnoses,’ when you can’t think of anything else, you go, ‘Eh, it’s that.’ So, it then makes me question why is she so somatically preoccupied that she’s visiting doctors all the time with pains and urinary symptoms and pelvic symptoms, and then that makes me wonder, was she sexually abused growing up?”
Though the caller did acknowledge that his fiancée had in fact survived abuse, let’s take a step back here and observe that he never said the woman was “preoccupied” and “visiting doctors all the time” – on the contrary, he said she almost always “refuses” to go to doctors, even when she’s “in so much pain.” But Dr. Drew had a handy explanation, stating, “Trust me, she saw lots of doctors before you.” He then went on to explain why her early abuse was causing her problems now. “When people have unexplained pain, pelvic pain, it’s called somatoform dissociation,” he said, “and the only way her body, which was suffering during those early experiences, can tell its tale of woe is with pain. And she really needs to see a trauma specialist, not a urologist. Know what I’m saying?” This was immediately segued with Pinksy’s colleague joking that an additional way someone could have unexplained pelvic pain was by having sex with the show’s guest, Alan Thicke. Charming.
Dr Drews comments on endometriosis are outrageous. He is not educated in a disease that strikes more than one in ten women! Find another doctor! Chronic stage 4 endo with severe adhesions has almost killed me twice. It is real, incurable and I hope you devote air some time in spreading awareness about endometriosis to counteract the sad stereotype that has made the burden of this horrible disease even harder.
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects more than 176 million women and girls worldwide, according to the Endometriosis Foundation of America. Despite being one of the most common gynecological disorders, there is no definitive consensus on the cause of endometriosis. To add insult to injury, some women who have endometriosis are also predisposed to ovarian cancer.
A new study from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) reveals that genetic screening could someday help clinicians to know which women are most at risk.
The research team will present their results on the first comprehensive immune gene profile exploring endometriosis and cancer on Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2014.
“A small subset of women with endometriosis go on to develop ovarian cancer, but doctors have no clinical way to predict which women,” said Anda Vlad, MD, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at MWRI. “If further studies show that the genetic pathway we uncovered is indicative of future cancer development, then doctors will know to more closely monitor certain women and perhaps take active preventative measures, such as immune therapy.”
Endometriosis is a painful condition that is often misdiagnosed for years before some form of correct treatment is attempted. As redOrbit reported in February, it is called a disease of theories, because so little is known about how it works, or who it will strike.
“We know there is a genetic component, we know there is an environmental component, and we know there is an inflammatory component. But it’s very difficult to say for individual patients what particular sequence of events led to particular symptoms,” Michael Beste, a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering, said.
It is the genetic component, and its association to cancer, that Vlad and her team are focused on finding.
Vlad and her team screened tissue samples from women with benign endometriosis, women with precancerous lesions and women with endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer. This allowed the researchers to identify the complement pathway, which refers to a series of protein interactions that trigger an amplified immune response, as the most prominent immune pathway that is activated in both endometriosis and endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer.
“If, as our study indicates, a problem with the immune system facilitates cancer growth through chronic activation of the complement pathway, then perhaps we can find ways to change that and more effectively prime immune cells to fight early cancer, while controlling the complement pathway,” said Swati Maruti Suryawanshi, PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow at MWRI.
Source: April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Abstract Objective: To evaluate the safety and effects on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of radical excision of deeply infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) in the cul-de-sac. Patients and Methods: This study included 390 patients with pathologically proven DIE in the cul-de-sacwho underwent laparoscopic surgery between January 2000 and December 2011. The preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores and HRQOL data from the 36-item Short Form (SF-36) questionnaire were recorded in 343 patients. Surgical outcomes, complications, and HRQOL were compared between patients who underwent hysterectomy and those who did not. Data were analyzed using the paired t test, Student's t test, and Pearson's correlation analysis. Results: In the group overall, the VAS pain score and all SF-36 scales improved after surgery. In patients who underwent hysterectomy, all SF-36 scales improved except physical functioning, role-physical, general health, and vitality. In patients who did not undergo hysterectomy, all SF-36 scales improved except general health. There were significant associations between gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist therapy and SF-36 mental health, SF-36 mental component summary, and oral medication use. The VAS pain score and SF-36 body pain score showed the greatest improvement, and the SF-36 general health score showed the least improvement. Patients who underwent hysterectomy had more severe disease and poorer surgical outcomes than those who did not undergo hysterectomy. Conclusions: Laparoscopic radical excision of DIE in the cul-de-sac is safe and significantly improves HRQOL, especially in terms of pain. The severity of endometriosis may affect the degree of improvement in HRQOL scores.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two investigators from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University will be traveling later this month to Sao Paolo to present their research at the World Congress on Endometriosis.
The congress is held every three years and brings together scientists, clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals involved in research or treatment of endometriosis a chronic, inflammatory condition that affects young women and adversely impacts their fertility and quality of life.
Dr. Nalini Santanam, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, and biomedical sciences doctoral student Kristeena Ray said they are looking forward to participating in the conference, which is being held April 30-May 3.
"Though 10 to 15 percent of young women suffer from endometriosis and almost two-thirds of these women suffer from chronic pain, the exact nature of this disease is not very well understood. My laboratory has a long-standing interest in understanding why some women get endometriosis and have pain," said Santanam. "We are very honored that our abstracts were chosen for presentation at this meeting. The most exciting part was to find out that Kristeena was selected to give an oral presentation and was one of only six investigators selected to receive the Rodolphe Maheux Travel Grant."
Apart from the well known effects of vitamin D on maintaining calcium homeostasis and promoting bone mineralization, there is some evidence suggesting that vitamin D also modulates human reproductive processes. We will review the most interesting and relevant studies on vitamin D and female fertility published over the past year.
In the past year, several observational studies reported a better in-vitro fertilization outcome in women with sufficient vitamin D levels (≥30 ng/ml), which was mainly attributed to vitamin D effects on the endometrium. One randomized controlled trial found an increased endometrial thickness in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) receiving vitamin D during intrauterine insemination cycles. Further, vitamin D supplementation had a beneficial effect on serum lipids in PCOS women. Vitamin D treatment improved endometriosis in a rat model and increased vitamin D intake was related to a decreased risk of incident endometriosis. Vitamin D was also favorably associated with primary dysmenorrhea, uterine leiomyoma, and ovarian reserve in late reproductive aged women.
In women undergoing in-vitro fertilization, a sufficient vitamin D level (≥30 ng/ml) should be obtained. Vitamin D supplementation might improve metabolic parameters in women with PCOS. A high vitamin D intake might be protective against endometriosis.
Linda Griffith, a biological engineer at MIT who used a new technique to begin to unravel the molecular cause of endometriosis.
For four years, MIT bioengineer Linda Griffith has been slowly unraveling the biology of endometriosis, a complicated and poorly understood disease that she has silently struggled with her entire life. The condition—in which tissue normally found in the uterus grows elsewhere in the body—is remarkably common. It causes severe pain and infertility and affects up to 10 percent of women, yet relatively little is known about what causes it, how to prevent it, or even how to effectively treat it.
"Mantel has written about the severe endometriosis that doctors failed to diagnose in her youth; how it caused the loss of her fertility and the doubling of her body weight in less than a year.
Now she says the condition defined her as a writer, indeed made her one. “You really live on the verge of panic because you don’t know what’s going on inside you. And when the pain isn’t there, you know it’s waiting for you. It’s why I became a writer in the first place. I don’t like to let people down and I couldn’t have gone into an office every day.
“Sometimes I’ve travelled [to author events] and gone on stage when any sensible person would have stayed at home. I have sat in car parks thinking, ‘Do I go in and do the talk or do I go to A&E?’"
Some women with endometriosis, a chronic inflammatory disease, are predisposed toovarian cancer, and a genetic screening might someday help reveal which women are most at risk, according to a University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) study, in partnership with Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI).
Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2014, UPCI and MWRI researchers will present the preliminary results of the first comprehensive immune gene profile exploring endometriosis and cancer.
"A small subset of women with endometriosis go on to develop ovarian cancer, but doctors have no clinical way to predict which women," said senior author Anda Vlad, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at MWRI. "If further studies show that the genetic pathway we uncovered is indicative of future cancer development, then doctors will know to more closely monitor certain women and perhaps take active preventative measures, such as immune therapy."
For far too long now, I have been contacted by people who tell me that they have been adversely impacted by Lupron. In fact, since 1999, the FDA has received adverse drug reports about Lupron from in excess of 4,000 women and approximately, 3,000 men. According to the FDA, in 325 of those cases, hospitilization was necessary and 25 women died, directly related to Lupron use.
The shared stories on this site reveal lives that have been irreparably damaged. We need to do something about this. Nothing is more powerful in coercing change than the voices of the people. I hope that this site is a place where you can come and share your story and thoughts. This is a place where you can link to other Facebook groups, read blogs and learn about what rights you may have and current news on the Lupron. This is a place where we can become stronger together.
My periods began when I was 13-years-old, and I only remember them accompanied with pain. I bled heavily each month for six to eight days. As I got older, I would find myself passed out on my bedroom or bathroom floor from painful cramps. I would pass heavy blood clots, was often lightheaded, and regularly was prescribed iron supplements and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. When Alleve came on the market, I was thrilled to try a new pain reliever. They would dull, but never eradicate, the pain. My periods were always preceded with hefty bouts of PMS; I suffered from bloating, fatigue, headaches, skin rashes, and swelling in my knees and fingers.
When I'd report these symptoms to my doctor, he told me that periods can be like that. Some girls have problems, others don't. I just happened to be one of the girls who had a problem period. My mother told me the same thing, adding, "That's what my mother told me. It was like that for me and for other girls I knew growing up, too." As Carol Pearson discusses in her TEDTalk, as Zora Neale Hurston wrote inTheir Eyes Were Watching God ("Black women are the mules of the world"), as Eve was told after she fed into her curiosity and took a bite of that forbidden fruit, I learned -- whether the lesson was intended to be learned this way or not -- that being a girl, becoming a woman, was painful. And I had to live with that pain. I had to learn to handle pain.
And so I did. I went with the flow.
What I didn't know was that I had endometriosis.Endometriosis is a disease that affects 10 percent of women globally. It knows no race, class, or socioeconomic status. Some doctors refer to endometriosis as a benign cancer. Padma Lakshmi, model and co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America, describes the disease as "a web, like a vapor, like weeds in a garden that permeate everything, and stain everything. And metaphorically as well as clinically what you have to go and do, whether it is with laparoscopy or therapy or just understanding and support, is you have to go in there... and get rid of it. Not only getting rid of it in the womb, but getting rid of it in the heart and the mind."