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.

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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”,…

Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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.…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

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…

Key Points Lay Summary

Cystectomy More Likely to Cause Infertility than Laparoscopic Vaporization

Treating patients with endometriotic ovarian cysts using laparoscopic vaporization may be better than treating them with cystectomy, or the surgical removal of cysts, regarding fertility. This information is according to a study conducted by Japanese scientists and published in the Asian Journal of Endoscopic Surgery. Although both operations can lower the ovarian reserve, or the capacity of the ovary to provide eggs that can be fertilized leading to a successful pregnancy, laparoscopic vaporization seems to be associated with a slower rate…

Key Points Lay Summary

Interleukin-6 Involved in the Development of Endometriosis

A chemical produced by the body called Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and known to be involved in inflammation also seems to promote the development of endometriosis. This is according to a study by Chinese scientists published in the journal Medical Science Monitor. Previous research has shown that the concentration of IL-6 is increased in the peritoneal fluid (the liquid lubricating the surface of tissues lining the abdominal wall and pelvic cavity) of women with endometriosis. But it was not clear whether increased…

Key Points Lay Summary

Plant Compound May Protect Against Endometriosis

Marrubiin, a compound derived from a plant in the mint family called white horehound may have protective effects against endometriosis, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Medicine Reports.  Marrubiin is the main analgesic, or painkiller compound found in the white horehound and is used to treat several ailments. It is known to improve blood and lymph flow, has anti‑inflammatory and anti‑oxidative properties, and may protect the heart muscle. In order to assess whether marrubiin may also have…

Key Points Lay Summary

Women with Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis Have a Higher Risk of Appendix Involvement

Women with deep-infiltrating endometriosis, a form of endometriosis that invades the abdominal and pelvic cavity, have an increased risk of developing endometriosis of the appendix. It is therefore important to check women with deep infiltrating endometriosis for appendix involvement during endometriosis surgery in these patients. Researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, led by Dr. Joanne Garrett, conducted a study to determine whether women with deep infiltrating endometriosis have an increased risk of appendiceal endometriosis compared to…

Key Points Lay Summary

Indirect assessment of endometriosis prevalence in general population

The prevalence of endometriosis is 10 percent among the general population, estimates a study published in the Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction. It is very difficult to estimate the prevalence of endometriosis in the general population. Seventeen different research articles have been published assessing the prevalence of endometriosis in women undergoing tubal sterilization. The results of these studies showed a huge variation in the prevalence of endometriosis ranging from 1.4 percent to 43.3 percent.   In order to…

Key Points Lay Summary

Bowel Involvement in Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis

Cleansing the colon before an ultrasound makes it easier to detect rectal nodules of deep infiltrating endometriosis, found a study published in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology.  Cleansing the colon before a surgery is called bowel preparation and is done using drugs that cause diarrhea, therefore, emptying the colon.  Researchers led by Dr. Francisco Carmona at Universitat de Barcelona in Spain wanted to assess whether bowel preparation increases the accuracy of transvaginal ultrasound, an ultrasound done by inserting the…

Key Points Lay Summary

"Kissing Round Ligaments" May Be a Sign of Bladder Endometriosis

Specific laparoscopic findings may help surgeons diagnose bladder endometriosis, a rare and often undiagnosed condition.  Bladder endometriosis is thought to affect only around one percent of patients with endometriosis. However, this could be an underestimation and many cases may go undiagnosed. In order to help surgeons diagnose bladder endometriosis, researchers led by Dr. David Soriano in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at The Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Ramat-Gan, Israel established a visual score of pelvic lesions.  The team…

Key Points Lay Summary