Angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapy in endometriosis.
Becker CM., D'Amato RJ.
Endometriosis, the presence of endometrium-like tissue outside of the uterine cavity, is a common disease among women of reproductive age. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain and painful menstruation. In addition, endometriosis is associated with reduced fertility. Current treatment modalities, the surgical removal of endometriotic lesions and the hormonal suppression of estrogen are associated with significant morbidity, side-effects and recurrence rates. Despite uncertainties about the pathophysiology of the disease it has recently become apparent that angiogenesis plays a pivotal role in endometriosis. This review focuses on a multitude of factors involved in the angiogenic phenotype of endometriosis demonstrating that many biological systems such as the immune system and steroid hormones are closely connected to angiogenic pathways in this disease. In addition, experimental and clinical data are discussed that concentrate on the inhibition of angiogenesis as a novel therapeutic approach for endometriosis.