World Endometriosis Research Foundation funds international multi-centre study to develop a tool to identify women with endometriosis

12 NOVEMBER 2007

The World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF) has secured funding for its first international multi-centre study. The aim of the study is to develop a symptom-based questionnaire to predict the presence of endometriosis – a study of this scale has never been undertaken before!

Endometriosis affects tens of millions of women across the globe. It is a major cause of pelvic pain and infertility in women. Yet, the disease is poorly understood, most treatments have unpleasant side effects, and there is no cure.

Lead investigator and World Endometriosis Research Foundation trustee, Mr Stephen Kennedy, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Oxford University, says: “The World Endometriosis Research Foundation recognises that one of the most pressing issues in endometriosis is the delay between symptom onset and a surgical diagnosis. In some health care settings this extends to 11 years”.

“To be able to treat endometriosis properly, we need to recognise and understand the symptoms of the disease better and earlier”, says Mr Kennedy.

The aim of this study is to develop and then validate a symptom-based questionnaire, which reliably and accurately predicts whether a woman has endometriosis or not. “A tool, which can help provide an early diagnosis resulting in women receiving the appropriate treatment sooner, may prevent unnecessary pain for millions of women worldwide”, predicts Mr Kennedy.

“The current delay in diagnosis and treatment contributes to years of suffering and potential infertility if the disease is left untreated”, says Mr Kennedy. “Although there is no cure for endometriosis at present, delaying treatment because symptoms are not recognised or acknowledged is simply not acceptable”.

This study has been made possible by research funding from TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. The study will be overseen by the World Endometriosis Research Foundation, which has assembled a unique consortium of researchers around the world to conduct this study, some of whom form part of a World Health Organisation (WHO) Network in Reproductive Health. The study will be designed and coordinated by the University of Oxford in collaboration with TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc.

Early results are expected to be announced during the 2nd quarter of 2009.

Logo from World Endometriosis Research FoundationFor more information about WERF please see and please consider making a small (or large!) donation towards research into viable treatments, a cure, and prevention of endometriosis. Thank you!

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