Özge Özkaya, PhD

Özge has a Phd in Molecular Biology and several years experience working as a bench scientists. She has been working in science communication since 2014.

A Potential New Drug for Endometriosis?

A steroid derivative called PBRM could be a new emerging drug to treat endometriosis according to a study by Canadian scientists. In the study that was published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, researchers characterized the pharmaceutical behavior of PBRM using a mouse model. The same team has recently reported the development of PBRM as an inhibitor, or blocker, of an enzyme called 17β-HSD1. This enzyme is overproduced in breast cancer and is responsible for the production…

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Do Adolescents and Adults Experience Endometriosis Differently?

Symptoms of endometriosis seem to be the same between women surgically diagnosed during adolescence and those diagnosed as adults, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For both age groups, pelvic pain was severe, non-cyclical, and negatively impacted the quality of life, but adolescents had more nausea and symptom onset at their first period.  “Clinicians should be aware of these alternate symptom patterns, and include endometriosis in their differential diagnosis for both adolescent and…

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Bowel Function not Affected by Type of Surgery in Deep Rectal Endometriosis, Clinical Trial Shows

Conservative surgery for the management of deep rectal endometriosis does not seem to improve the function of the digestive and urinary system compared to more radical surgery according to a new study by French researchers published in the scientific journal Human Reproduction.  According to the researchers, patients should, therefore, be informed that there is a risk of abnormal bowel movements regardless of the type of surgery. There are two surgical approaches that doctors usually use to treat deep infiltrating endometriosis of the…

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How Could Doctors Reduce Risk of Complications Following Rectal Endometriosis Surgery?

Introducing a temporary opening, known as a stoma, in the abdomen of patients that are operated for rectal endometriosis to collect waste products could reduce the risk of complications such as anastomotic leakage. This is according to a study by French researchers published in the Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction. To assess the value of protective stoma in patients with rectal endometriosis, the team led by Dr. Pierre Collinet at Université Lille-Nord-de-France analyzed a total of 47 patients…

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How to identify an Expert Centers for Colorectal Endometriosis Surgery

It is of paramount importance to determine set criteria to define expert centers for colorectal endometriosis surgery, according to a research article published in the scientific journal Surgical Endoscopy.  As the hospital and surgeon case volume has a significant impact on the development of endometriosis-related complications and defining criteria for expert centers can help better manage colorectal endometriosis.  Although international guidelines recommend that patients with severe forms of endometriosis are referred to expert centers, there are no clear criteria to…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: “Literature Review, Our Data, and Case Presentations” by Dr. Karli Goldstein

Dr. Karli Goldstein started her presentation with a brief literature review on the relationship between endometriosis and breast cancer. She focused on a research article by Dr. Spandidos and colleagues, which was the first epidemiological study that examined the possible relationship between these two diseases. The results of the study showed that out of multiple studies that were identified by using the search words “endometriosis”, “breast cancer”, and “malignant neoplasm”, 11 showed a substantial evidence of a positive correlation between endometriosis…

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Increased Period Pain in Endometriosis Is Linked to Estrogen

Researchers in China shed light on the mechanism of how the female sex hormone estrogen may be linked to increased period pain in women with endometriosis. A better understanding of the biological mechanism leading to pelvic pain in endometriosis could help researchers develop better treatments to reduce the pain in the future. It was already known that abnormal enzymes associated with estrogen and an increased number of immune cells, called mast cells were implicated in endometriosis.  In order to better understand whether…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "Prophylactic Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction" Presentation by Dr. Oren Lerman

Dr. Oren Lerman, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, described the reconstructive options of a woman who has been or is going to go through a mastectomy (removal of breast tissues) whether it is preventative (prophylactic) or as a result of breast cancer. Dr. Lerman highlighted that with the advancement of reconstructive techniques, not only is it no longer possible “to tell” whether a woman had reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy, but they…

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EFA.MC.2017.“The Abnormal Embryos That Aren’t”,“Tens of thousands of women thought they couldn't have babies: But what if they could.”Dr. Norbert Gleicher Dr. Monica Halem

The presentation started with the story of Monica Halem who had endometriosis and had been trying to conceive using in vitro fertilization VF), but was told that none of her fertilized embryos would be viable based on pre-implantation genetic screening or PGS. PGS is a genetic test developed by Dr. Verlinsky and colleagues in 1990 and used on embryos produced by IVF that looks for aneuploidy or incorrect number of chromosomes in the cells making up the embryo. Aneuploidy is…

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Women with Mild Endometriosis May Have a Higher Risk of Miscarriage

Mild endometriosis presents an increased risk of miscarriage according to a new study published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility.  Researchers think that this may be because superficial lesions are associated with a greater extent of the inflammatory disorder, which may lead to the defective formation of egg cells, reduced fertilization of those egg cells by sperm cells and problems with the implantation of a newly formed embryo into the uterus. These findings could help doctors develop new and more effective treatments…

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Highlights from the Endometriosis Foundation of America Medical Conference

The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA)’s 2017 Medical Conference was held in New York City on October 28. The conference titled “Breast, Ovary, and Endometriosis” was attended by more than 100 people and viewed online by more than 5.300. Following the welcome address by Dr. Tamer Seckin, the co-founder of the EFA, the conference started with the presentation of Dr. Harry Reich, a pioneer in the field of laparoscopic surgery. During his presentation titled “Endometriosis, hormonal or surgical? My reality”,…

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Endometriosis May Be Causing Women to Become More Sensitive to Pain

Inflammation caused by endometriosis may be changing the way a woman perceives pain, found a new study published in the journal Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.   According to Dr. Neziri Alban at University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland and the co-authors of the study, cell signaling molecules called cytokines that are produced in the endometrial environment could act as a mediator between the lesions and the changes in pain processing mechanisms in the brain and spinal cord. It was already known…

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New Scoring System to Identify Bowel Endometriosis Syndrome

Researchers in Denmark have developed a new scoring system to identify women with bowel endometriosis syndrome (BENS) and monitor the effect of treatments on the syndrome. The scoring system that can be used in everyday clinical practice is the first endometriosis classification system based directly on the patient’s symptoms. Women with bowel endometriosis usually experience multiple symptoms such as painful urination, urgency to urinate and defecate, irregular bleeding, menstrual pain, constipation, and diarrhea, that researchers collectively called BENS. To develop…

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The Role of Natural Killer Cells in the Development of Endometriosis Unravelled

Specialized immune cells called natural killer cells found in the peritoneal fluid of women with severe endometriosis may facilitate the development of the disease, according to a study published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.   This finding could help researchers find new ways to tackle severe endometriosis and prevent its development.  Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a significant role in the rejection of tumor cells as well as cells infected by viruses.…

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Endometriosis Does Not Increase Overall Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Endometriosis is not associated with the overall risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.  The condition may, however, be significantly associated with an increased risk of breast tumors that express estrogen receptors (ER) but do not express progesterone receptors (PR) on their surface. But according to the researchers, “given the small sample size among the ER+/PR- group, these results should be interpreted cautiously”. The relationship between endometriosis and breast cancer has been investigated…

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Pain Cognition Impacts Health Related Quality of Life in Women with Endometriosis

The cognition of pain is an important factor influencing health-related quality of life in women with endometriosis, suggests a study published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility.   This finding is important because it can help doctors treat pain in the right way. “Clinicians (…) may consider treating pain symptoms in a multidimensional, individualized way in which the psychological aspects are taken into account,” wrote Dr. Mieke van Aken at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and the co-authors of the…

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The Endometriosis Fertility index Could Help Better Predict the Chance of Conceiving After Laparoscopy

The endometriosis fertility index (EFI) can more reliably predict the chance of a woman getting pregnant following endometriosis surgery compared to the revised-American Society of Reproductive Medicine score, according to a study published in the scientific journal Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. The EFI could, therefore, be used to ensure that only women who are less likely to become pregnant naturally following laparoscopic surgery use assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF treatment, reducing the number of unnecessary procedures and costs.  In…

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Research Sheds Light Onto Molecular Mechanism of Endometriosis

A cell signaling molecule called transforming growth factor β 1 or TGF-β1 is involved in the development of endometriosis, a new study found. A better understanding of the molecular events associated with the development of this disease could help scientists develop better strategies to tackle the disease in the future. TGF-β1 is a molecule belonging to the superfamily of transforming growth factors that are produced by white blood cells. Once activated, the protein binds to a receptor protein found on…

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New Approach could help Preoperative Differentiation of Endometriosis and Cancer

Researchers in Japan identified some radiological parameters that could be used to differentiate between endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer (EAOC) and a particular type of benign ovarian endometriosis (OE), making it easier for doctors to offer the right treatment to women who need it. In a research article published in the scientific journal Magnetic Resonance in Medical Sciences, a team of researchers led by Dr. Hiroshi Kobayashi reported that the height and height-width ration (HWR) of the mural nodules, or cysts found…

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Best Time for IVF Between 7 and 25 Months Post Surgery Study Suggests

The more severe endometriosis is, the lower the success rate of IVF, according to a new study published in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. However, the presence of endometriosis as such does not seem to affect the outcome of IVF and the best time to have IVF seems to be seven to 25 months after endometriosis surgery. In order to evaluate the impact of endometriosis on the outcome of IVF and to identify the best time interval to have…

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