Uterine fibroids are the most common, non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids are made of muscle cells and other tissues that grow within and around the wall of the uterus. They can cause pain, bleeding, and reproductive problems, including infertility.
Surgery remains the main treatment option. However, researchers supported by the Fertility and Infertility Branch have been testing a new potential drug treatment that can treat fibroids without surgery.
In a small-scale randomized clinical trial, scientists administered the drug to 42 women suffering from fibroids. They found that women who received the drug treatment showed reduced fibroid size, decreased bleeding, and improved quality of life. The medication was well tolerated.
This medication represents a new approach to treat fibroids, especially in women who wish to preserve their fertility. It has already been approved for use in Europe, and an application for approval in the United States is being prepared (PMID: 21330545).