Development of a noninvasive diagnostic for endometriosis has long been a priority for researchers. For example, a workshop report from the 2011 World Congress of Endometriosis entitled Defining Future Directions for Endometriosis Research noted both the need for a noninvasive diagnostic and the challenge:
- A noninvasive test for the reliable diagnosis of endometriosis, and in particular early endometriosis, remains a priority. Specificity and sensitivity of any diagnostic test are key issues, with many patients having comorbidities, such as adenomyosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis, which can all contribute to the symptomatology. Because of the likely variable etiology of endometriosis, different subsets of biomarkers may be required for different stages and/or clinical classifications of endometriosis.
More recently, the presidents of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation and the World Endometriosis Society reaffirmed the importance of developing a noninvasive diagnostic for endometriosis in a May 2018 joint statement, Diagnostic biomarkers for endometriosis.
Looking forward, early detection of adolescent endometriosis will be the topic of a symposium October 8 at the 2018 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress and Expo in Denver. The symposium will discuss the importance of early detection of adolescent endometriosis in achieving better outcomes. We are looking forward to the symposium. (To meet with a Health Decisions clinical development expert at ASRM, please contact us.)
Commercial Development Programs Are Advancing
We are encouraged about the prospects for the development of a noninvasive diagnostic for endometriosis based on knowledge of commercial development programs that are poised to move from analytic development into clinical testing. The commercial opportunity for a noninvasive endometriosis diagnostic should be commensurate with the clinical need. Any diagnostic that supports informed treatment decisions while reducing the need for invasive procedures has unquestioned economic as well as clinical value.
Fatigue as a Symptom of Endometriosis
While eagerly awaiting the appearance of a noninvasive diagnostic for endometriosis, we are also intrigued by an article reporting on a study demonstrating that fatigue can be a valuable diagnostic criterion for this often painful indication. The diagnostic process for endometriosis emphasizes pain for obvious reasons. However, many cases of endometriosis are asymptomatic. Would some endometriosis cases be reclassified as symptomatic if fatigue were more frequently recognized as a symptom?