Endometriosis lesion biomarkers
Formal diagnosis of endometriosis requires surgery. There are no diagnostic blood tests for the condition because biomarkers of endometriosis have not been identified yet. We believe that endometriotic lesions (growths formed in the pelvic cavity in patients with endometriosis) will provide researchers the best clues about which biomarkers are present in high enough numbers to be suitable as a blood test to diagnose endometriosis even without surgery.
The goal of our research is to identify 'endometriosis biomarkers' (which are substances present in blood or other body tissues) that can be measured in a simple blood test that will help to diagnose endometriosis, without the need for surgery.
In this study we will look at patients already planning to have a laparoscopy for investigation of their pelvic pain. We will collect medical information from hospital records and ask participants to complete an online questionnaire about their medical history and symptoms before their surgery. We will also ask patients to donate a small blood sample, or a tissue sample (endometriotic lesion or a sample of peritoneal tissue) or a sample of peritoneal fluid (the fluid surrounding the pelvic organs in the abdominal cavity). Some patients may be asked to donate blood samples following their surgery (6 weeks, 12 and 24 months) so that we can monitor the levels of identified endometriosis biomarkers after treatment. We will use this information and the donated biological specimens to identify endometriosis biomarkers that come from lesions and can be used to develop a diagnostic blood test to identify endometriosis.
Are you eligible to participate in this project?
If you are planning to have a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) for pelvic pain and would be interested in donating a small blood and or tissue sample to our research, you may be eligible.
What happens if I participate in this project?
Small amount of blood will be taken from you before your laparoscopy while you are under anaesthetics (asleep) and small tissue samples will be taken during your surgery.
There will be no other change to your treatment.
Some patients who enrol in this study may be asked to return to the hospital to donate extra blood samples following their surgery.