From the Researcher's Desk - Research into Young Women with Endometrial Cancer
Miss Ellis, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist & Surgeon in the Department of Gynaeoncology at the Royal Study is involved in several studies looking at endometrial cancer. She has a particular interest in endometrial cancers occurring in young women and has previously conducted a study with researchers at the Hammersmith Hospital to understand the mechanism of this and find ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this cohort of women, who potentially must face the devastating prospect of losing their fertility as a result of this disease.
GRACE has donations raised by the Womb Cancer Support ringfenced to part fund this research and for other studies looking specifically at endometrial cancer in young women, and the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
Each year, approximately 4% of young women aged 40 and under develop endometrial cancer. The mechanism underlying the aetiology of endometrial cancers in young women is still not clear. Tissue has been collected from 50 patients under the age of 41 from 15 centres across England. Using this tissue the study looked at Lymphocyte expression – the hypothesis being that the presence of lymphocytes offers a protective effect and influences the tumour characteristics in terms of stage and grade of tumour as well as response to treatment. Learn more here.
The study also looked at monocyte and chemokine expression (proteins released from our cells that can promote the growth of cancers) and finds a role for these chemokines in patients with early endometrial cancer and in the proliferation and spread of the tumours. This is the first study that has demonstrated a possible link with the metastasis (spread) of the cancer cells in young women with endometrial cancer. Learn more here.