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Our research in the Oxford Endometriosis CaRe Centre seeks to identify what causes this disease to help improve our understanding of its different forms and to help inform novel drug and non-invasive biomarker discovery programmes.

FENOX

Aim – To identify the underlying mechanisms of endometriosis and uterine fibroids and their associated symptoms to improve the outcome of affected women.

In the FENOX (Fibroids and Endometriosis in Oxford) study, we aim to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of endometriosis and uterine fibroids and their associated symptoms by means of longitudinal observation and laboratory analyses. To achieve this, samples and clinical data will be collected from women undergoing surgery. These samples will be used in state-of-the-art biomedical assays to improve our understanding of the underlying biology of these symptoms in women with endometriosis and/or fibroids, which will lead to a better understanding of the conditions, stratification of patient groups and tailored therapies, and the development of novel drug targets and biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment. Read more… 

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TRiPP

 Aim - To revolutionise the understanding of endometriosis-associated pain (EAP) and bladder pain syndrome (BPS), identify meaningful subgroups of patients, develop better preclinical models and ultimately facilitate drug development.

TRiPP is focused on two specific types of chronic pain: endometriosis-associated pain and bladder pain syndrome. The main hypothesis of TRiPP is that the pain symptoms experienced by women with these conditions are generated and maintained by mechanisms similar to those found in other chronic pain conditions, but occur in combination with specific pathological lesions and symptoms. We believe that reconceptualising these conditions in the context of the multi system dysfunction known for other chronic pain conditions rather than as end-organ pathologies has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of the conditions, allow us to identify meaningful subgroups of patients, develop better preclinical models and thus ultimately facilitate drug development in this field. Read more… 

TRiPP – Translational Research in Pelvic PainChronic pelvic pain is as common as asthma, migraine and back pain and associated with a significant reduction in quality of life, yet it remains a neglected area of research.

COHERE

Aim - To establish a women’s health cohort to collect vital health and morbidity data, and investigate factors affecting women’s health and care seeking patterns in the region

Cyprus Women’s Health Research (COHERE) Initiative is a large-scale cross-sectional study recruiting Eastern Mediterranean women between the ages of 18-55. The study has four main aims: 1) estimate the prevalence rates of gynaecological conditions and associated symptomatology, and auto-immune, inflammatory, metabolic, pain comorbidity profiles from this region; 2) investigate how various reproductive and lifestyle factors affect women’s health including diet, exercise, employment patterns, oral contraceptive use, childbirth and breastfeeding, family history of illness; 3) understand the underlying genetic architecture of this population and investigate genetic variants causal for disease from the region; 4) quantify women’s access to health care and estimate the burden of diseases such as endometriosis in Northern Cyprus. You can read more about the study in the published study protocol. Read more...

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ENDOX

Aim – To generate a biological and epidemiological resource for endometriosis research and collaboration.

Biomarker and drug target discovery, and the translation of genetic results into clinically useful outcomes, requires the collection of biological samples along with detailed symptomatic, clinical, and personal information from women with and without endometriosis. For this purpose we started ENDOX, a prospective study in which we systematically collect blood, urine, saliva, and tissue from women undergoing a laparoscopy for pelvic pain, infertility or sterilisation, and asking each participant to complete detailed questionnaires prior to and following surgery. The samples and data collected as part of ENDOX are used for a number of studies aimed at finding – and translating our genetic findings into – biomarkers, improve our understanding of underlying disease mechanisms and develop novel treatments for endometriosis and its associated symptoms. Read more…

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PRE-EMPT

Aim – To test the potential benefit of long acting progestogens in addition to laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis.

Endometriosis is often a chronic disease with relatively high recurrence rates regardless of the therapeutic approach. Laparoscopic surgery is one of such options. The PRE-EMPT (Preventing Recurrence of Endometriosis by means of Long Acting Protestogen Therapy) trial is a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial (RCT) that aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the long acting progestogens such as DMPA and LNG IUS system in the prevention of the recurrence of endometriosis. Read more…

 PRE-EMPT Trial Preventing Recurrence of Endometriosis by Means of long acting Progestogen Therapy

Closed Studies

ENDOPAIN

Aim – To identify pre-operative factors predicting response to surgical treatment of endometriosis associated pain.

Conditions associated with chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome) are known to be associated with an up­regulation of the central nervous system (central sensitisation), which may partly be responsible for a continuing sensation of pain when no persistent peripheral cause can be identified. Chronic pain is also known to be associated with psychological distress and a suppression of the body’s natural response to stress (corticosteroids). We are investigating women with moderate ­ severe endometriosis­ associated pain both prior to surgery and until 6 months post surgery, aiming to identify factors predicting a good response to surgery. The data we will collect include clinical information, hormonal measures (including cortisol), psychological assessments and a MRI brain scan to measure their central response to pain.

This study is no longer recruiting participants. However, if you are interested in any future gynaecology and pelvic pain studies please contact gynaeresearchoxford@wrh.ox.ac.uk leaving your name, address and how you would like to be contacted. Your data will be stored on a secure server. 

WIPSOX

WIPSOx is the first of a series of studies investigating factors relating to Women In Pain in Oxford. WIPSOx is specifically looking at the impact of chronic pain on hormone levels in women between 18-50 years old. We already know that most chronic pain conditions are associated with a reduction in blood cortisol levels and that many other types of stress (e.g. weight loss, exams, etc) can cause periods to temporarily stop or become irregular. We are interested in whether pain is itself enough of a stressor to affect hormone levels and if so whether this is associated with alterations in quality of life (e.g. mood, libido etc) or long-term health risks. 

This study is no longer recruiting participants. However, if you are interested in any future gynaecology and pelvic pain studies please contact gynaeresearchoxford@wrh.ox.ac.uk leaving your name, address and how you would like to be contacted. Your data will be stored on a secure server.

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Wider Research

A number of other research projects are also being undertaken within the Department. Our worldwide acclaimed research covers the full spectrum of women's health and explores four key themes: Cancer, Global Health, Maternal & Fetal Health and Reproductive Medicine & Genetics. Click on a research theme below or browse the research groups list.

Cancer

Global Health

Maternal & Fetal Health

Reproductive Medicine & Genetics