Endometriosis: Novel etiopathogenetic concepts and clinical perspectives

Mario Vignali, Mirco Infantino, Roberta Matrone, Ilda Chiodo, Edgardo Somigliana, Mauro Busacca, Paola Viganò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To discuss current ideas about therapy for endometriosis derived from new observations generated by using molecular biology techniques and in vivo animal models of disease. Method(s): The MEDLINE database was reviewed for English-language articles on new drugs that affect the endocrine or immunologic system, the possibility that endometriosis has multiple forms, and the association of endometriosis with cancer. Specific attention was given to in vivo studies in animals or humans. Conclusion(s): Among the novel potential candidate drugs, aromatase inhibitors and raloxifene should be considered for treatment of postmenopausal women with endometriosis. Notable observations have emerged from studies of immunomodulators and antiinflammatory agents in animal models of disease. These findings must be confirmed in women. The histogenesis of ovarian endometriomas is still unclear, thus limiting new experimental approaches to this form of disease. Given the low but established risk for malignant transformation of endometriosis, efforts should be directed toward identification of susceptibility loci for the disease and its potential transformation into cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-678
Number of pages14
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2002


  • Antiinflammatory
  • Aromatase inhibitors
  • Cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Immunomodulators
  • Ovarian endometriotic cysts
  • Raloxifene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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