Yu Yu

Dr. Yu holds her Ph.D. in experimental pharmacology from University of Sydney, Australia and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Gynecologic Pathology Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She was the previous recipient of Outside-the-Box Grant from the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation and Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award from Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Dr. Yu is currently a senior research fellow at the School of Pharmacy and Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Western Australia where her studies focus on therapeutics and biomarkers development for gynecological conditions.

Behavioral Symptoms in an Animal Model of Endometriosis

Recent studies suggest that there is a relationship between endometriosis and some behavioral symptoms. Prolonged pelvic pain and the other endometriosis symptoms can often affect psychological and social functioning, resulting in issues with social relationships, sexuality, and even mental health. A previous systematic review showed that depression and anxiety are commonly associated with endometriosis. The biological mechanisms underlying the relationship between endometriosis and psychiatric symptoms; however, remains understudied. Filho et al. from Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Universidade…

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Antibiotic therapy for endometriosis

Current treatments for endometriosis are surgery and hormone therapy; however, these approaches may have significant side effects and do not prevent a recurrence. Therefore, alternative treatment modalities for endometriosis is needed. Recently, the idea that endometriosis may be influenced by the microbiome is developing. The women’s reproductive tracts are colonized by distinct microbial communities, which appear to correlate with conditions such as preterm birth and infertility. One study has also identified differences between the microbiome in the cervix and uterus…

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Correlation between Treg cells and peritoneal lesions in women with ovarian endometrioma

It is increasingly suggested that defective immune response is responsible for the survival and development of ectopic endometrial cells into endometriosis. In women with endometriosis, the immune system fails to create an inflammatory process that destroys endometrial cells at the ectopic site. One emerging research in this area is the role of a population of anti-inflammatory populations of T lymphocytes, called regulatory T (Treg) cells, which are potent immune response suppressor important to prevent immune destruction in all tissues. A…

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A newly found relationship between estrogen signalling and immune dysregulation in endometriosis

It is believed that endometriosis progression is "at least partly" due to dysregulation of immune cells resulting in the poor clearance of ectopic endometrial debris. In particular, aberrant macrophage function was found to be important in the establishment of endometriosis, since the primary role of macrophage is to engulf cellular debris. Macrophages differentiate into M1 (the classically activated macrophages) or M2 (the alternatively activated macrophages) depending on environmental stimuli. M1 macrophages kill microorganism and have a pro-inflammatory function, while M2 macrophages…

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Breast cancer incidence in women with endometriosis

The relationship between endometriosis and breast cancer remains unclear. Some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer among women with endometriosis, while others suggested no change in the risk of breast cancer. Previously, the authors have found that the overall risk of breast cancer in women with endometriosis was similar to the Finnish female population, irrespective of the type of endometriosis. However, the authors have re-examined the potential risk because breast cancer is one of the most common…

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Efficacy of an antibiotic, clarithromycin for endometriosis

Laparoscopic surgery is the standard treatment for advanced stages of endometriosis, followed by postoperative modalities including to progesterone, antiprogestogens, estrogen-progesterone combinations, danazol, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to reduce recurrence after surgery. However, these drugs interfere with ovulation and fertility. The role of immune system in endometriosis progression and clinical symptoms has resulted in treatment using anti-inflammatory agents. Clarithromycin is a macrolide with an anti-inflammatory effect. It is used for different inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and sepsis.…

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Extra-ovarian malignancies risk among women with endometriosis

For some time, an association between endometriosis and subsequent cancer risk have been reported. In particular, scientific evidence has shown that endometriosis is linked with risk of certain ovarian cancer subtypes known as clear cell and endometrioid. Since endometriosis is influenced by the female hormone, most studies have mainly examined the risk on malignancies related to the female reproductive system such as the ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancer, or cancers in which estrogen has been suggested including melanoma, breast etc. However,…

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Crocin improves endometriosis

Crocin is a carotenoid chemical compound in the flowers crocus and gardenia. It is one of the most important gradients in saffron. Previous studies showed that crocin may have multiple pharmacological effects including anti-tumor, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammation. There are several therapeutic approaches to treat endometriosis. This includes hormone therapy, which is highly associated with side effect relating to the loss of bone density. Therefore, identifying new medication to inhibit the growth of endometriosis is crucial. This article by Liu et…

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Local inflammation and disease severity in endometriosis

During inflammation, immune cell receptors recognize endogenous molecules called danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) or ‘alarmins’. This process reflects tissue damage and is mediated upon cell death in the condition of strong inflammation. HMGB1 and IL-33 are important DAMP molecules. Recently, some studies have suggested the role of these “danger signals” in endometriosis pathogenesis. However, data on levels of these danger signals and mechanisms in endometriosis is limited. This study by Jaeger-Lansky et al. from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical…

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Immune dysregulation in endometriosis

The connection between endometriosis and the immune system has long been proposed. However, to date, there is no real consensus on whether immune adaptations actually facilitate endometriotric lesion progression or they are a consequence of endometriosis re-occurrence. Thus, this article by Symons et al. from Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University, Canada in Trends in Molecular Medicine aimed to research around immune dysfunction in endometriosis. The focus is on the composition and alterations of the immune system in…

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Complementary treatments for endometriosis symptoms: acupuncture, exercise, electrotherapy, or yoga?

Endometriosis is associated with debilitating symptoms in some women including dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain, deep dyspareunia, dyschezia, and dysuria. There are a few therapeutic options to treat these symptoms; however, only a few studies have considered treating the pain symptoms using conventional complementary treatments. This article by Mira et al. from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the University of Campinas in Brazil, was published in International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics with the main aim to identify randomized clinical trials…

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Therapeutic potential of ginseng based compound in preclinical models of endometriosis

Currently, the drug option for women with endometriosis mainly focus on reducing estrogens levels (e.g., progestins, androgens, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, and aromatase inhibitors). However, these therapies can have low effectiveness with frequent recurrence and considerable side effects. Therefore, there is a need to develop more effective treatments that may be based on other mechanisms of action. Autophagy is a regulated cellular mechanism in which the cell that mediates natural sequestration of cellular organelles and macromolecules, allowing for orderly degradation…

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N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid and bromelain improved endometriosis-associated pelvic pain

Oxidative stress has been implicated in many processes that lead to the development and progression of endometriosis. Typically, women with endometriosis have to endure pelvic pain which negatively impacts their quality of life. Pelvic pain can be chronic and related to dysmenorrhea and dyspareunia. Endometriosis treatment includes gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs and hormonal contraceptives. These treatments are not suitable for women who wish to become pregnant. Other treatments options that can preserve fertility include analgesics and/or anti-inflammatory agents. One of the…

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Detecting endometriosis using peripheral blood

Laparoscopic visualization of endometriotic lesions with histological confirmation is the gold standard for the diagnosis of endometriosis. However, this diagnostic procedure, due to the need for laparoscopy and variability of disease/symptoms, can have a major delay up to 8-10 years from symptoms onset time. Another method such as transvaginal ultrasound is useful for deep nodules and ovarian endometriotic cysts identification, but it is dependent on the operator and has limited accuracy for the detection of superficial peritoneal lesions. Therefore, a…

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Expert discussion on mechanisms of endometriosis development and progression

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the occurrence and worsening of endometriosis. Classically, it is believed that retrograde menstruation causes endometriosis. However, the presence of endometriosis in newly menarcheal or pre-menarcheal girls cannot fully explain this early onset endometriosis. With the increasing number of studies, other mechanisms have also been introduced. Particularly, three prominent aspects of the pathogenesis of endometriosis are: (i) numerous genes are differentially expressed in the ectopic endometrium compared with those in the eutopic and normal…

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Inflammatory molecules promote the migration and invasion of endometriosis cells

Increasing scientific evidence has shown that the immune and inflammatory mechanisms play a central role in the progression of endometriosis by allowing a permissive environment that allows migration, adhesion, proliferation, and invasion of endometrial cells in ectopic regions of the body. This article by Peng et al. from Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Women’s Hospital, Zhejiang University Medical College, China published in Reproductive Sciences journal aimed to investigate the expression level of chemokine CXCL16/CXCR6 in endometriosis and explore its potential…

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Altered Immunity in Endometriosis

In recent years, there has been increased attention on the role of immune system in endometriosis development. Normally, immune reactions are supposed to destroy endometrial cells seeding in the peritoneal cavity. Nonetheless, in endometriosis, these cells are able to evade, penetrate, proliferate and ultimately are forming lesions. Persistent inflammatory response within peritoneal cavity causing vasodilation and increased permeability of blood vessels contributing to initial endometrial growth. Thus, changes in cell-mediated and humoral immunity may contribute to pathogenesis endometriosis. This review…

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Animal models of endometriosis

For advancing understanding and treatment of endometriosis, The World Endometriosis Society has previously brought together researchers and clinicians to discuss the many important research priorities. One of these was the recommendation to development and building on the use of animal models for future endometriosis research activities. Endometriosis is a complex disease to mimic. It can broadly be classified into peritoneal, ovarian and deep infiltrating depending upon the location, extent, and appearance of the lesions. Furthermore, American Society for Reproductive Medicine…

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Managing of endometriosis and associated ovarian cancer risk

According to a number of studies, endometriosis is associated with moderate increase in ovarian cancer risk. This risk is elevated in subjects with a long-standing history of untreated ovarian endometriosis. Endometriosis is particularly associated with risk for certain histological subtypes of ovarian cancer including the clear cell and endometrioid ovarian cancer. Clear cell ovarian cancer prevalence is dependent on geographic area. It has a higher prevalence in Asian regions, particularly Japan (15-25%), as compared to 1-13% reported in Europe and…

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Investigational drugs for the treatment of endometriosis

Endometriosis treatment involves surgery and medical therapies. Surgery can improve the associated pain, quality of life and sexual function, even though it is technically challenging with potential risks of complications. Medical therapy is often aimed to ameliorate pain symptoms and prevent post-surgical disease recurrence. The choice is based on several factors such as age, intensity, and characteristics of pain, other comorbidities (e.g., migraine) and desire to conceive. The challenges with endometriosis treatment include the need of a tolerable chronic regimen,…

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