Dr. Morton's research team has discovered a genetic risk for developing uterine fibroids.

If you’re living with uterine fibroids, you’re not alone. The good news: research from BWH will lead to improved screening strategies and better treatments.

Uterine fibroids, the most common type of pelvic tumors in women, can contribute to fertility challenges and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States. Found in 75 percent of women of reproductive age, they are benign and also can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and pregnancy complications.

The new research from BWH shows the discovery of a genetic risk allele (an alternative form of a gene) for uterine fibroids in white women. The research team analyzed genetic data from over 7,000 white women because none of the study groups contained  enough black women to provide meaningful scientific results in this population. This finding will pave the way for new screening strategies and treatments for uterine fibroids.

“Our discovery foretells a path to personalized medicine for women who have a genetic basis for development of uterine fibroids,” said Cynthia Morton, PhD, Director of the Center for Uterine Fibroids and the senior study author. “Identification of genetic risk factors may provide valuable insight into medical management.”

 

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