Investigators at Cedars-Sinai have created a unique and detailed molecular profile of endometriosis to help improve therapeutic options for the millions of women suffering from the disease.
00:00 What is endometriosis?
00:40 What are the challenges in studying endometriosis? 00:59 What does the latest research show? 01:28 What is the cell atlas and how will it help women? 01:54 Where does endometriosis research go from here? Endometriosis is a remarkably common condition. Impacting around 10% of women, it causes chronic pain and infertility and has a huge effect on many women's lives. The disease is characterized by cells that resemble the lining of the womb, but they're growing in the wrong place so often in the peritoneal cavity, sometimes on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, but the disease can impact even more distant organs. So maybe the bladder, the colon, sometimes even as far as the lungs. Endometriosis in itself, has many needs and many unanswered questions in the research and clinical space. The legions are very small and that means we just haven't been able to apply the big scale genomics approaches that have been really successful in cancer. To understand this disease, We were incredibly excited to apply a new technology called single cell genomics where you can study the molecular profile of a disease one cell at a time and this is just perfect for a disease such as endometriosis, where there's many different cell types contributing to disease biology. Epithelial cells and the stromal cells that make up the lesion itself, but also the host tissue is changed by the presence of those cells. We created an atlas or a road map of all the different cell types that contribute to endometriosis. This resource can now be used by researchers all throughout the world to study the specific cell types that they specialize in to find new ways to treat endometriosis more effectively or diagnose it more efficiently, really is a game changer. It's long been known that endometriosis doesn't respond in the same way to ovarian hormones. But we could see that the relationship between the cell types present in legions and their hormones of the menstrual cycle were completely broken. We hope that some of the most short term impacts can come from finding new therapeutic options for patients. So in our lab we're already testing some therapeutics using a mouse model of endometriosis based on discoveries from this cell atlas.