Forthcoming Opportunities in Treatment of Endometriosis

Key opinion leaders provide their final thoughts on the current disease state of endometriosis, as well as opportunities forthcoming for treatment management.

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Maria Lopes, MD, MS: Thank you for a very rich and informative discussion. This has been a great panel. Before we conclude, I’d like to get final thoughts from each of the panelists about what the next 3 to 5 years will look like in terms of screening, identification, and treatments.

Eric Surrey, MD: First, thank you so much for letting me be involved. This has been a real treat and pleasure for me. Enhancing awareness, which Tara and Amber brought up, can be a rapid change. This isn’t that hard to do. Payers can play a big role with information that’s provided to patients and doctors in terms of checklists and how to focus their thoughts on this disease.

Looking further down the road, in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic options, I’m very excited about noninvasive ways of diagnosing endometriosis. There’s some fascinating work going on now looking at blood markers and endometrial markers, which wouldn’t be totally noninvasive, but a uterine biopsy is a lot easier than a surgery. With these markers, maybe you could say, “Based on these tests, you have a 90% chance of having endometriosis. Let’s move you into therapy.”

This isn’t that far away. Our treatment options will change dramatically—maybe not in 3 years, but beyond that—toward getting at the root of the disease. [And they will be not] so much manipulating hormones but manipulating the inflammatory state, immunologic state associated with this disorder so that we can root out the root cause as opposed to only treating the symptoms. That’s what I hope for, and I don’t think any of that is an unfulfillable wish list.

Maria Lopes, MD, MS: Very good. Thank you. Amber, what do you think the world will be like in the next 3 to 5 years in terms of the management of endometriosis from your perspective?

Amber Hagen, NP: I’m envisioning it making big changes. We’re even making big headway with these new medications. It sounds promising and the data are looking good. I can only hope for my patients’ sakes that we can make big changes and decrease that 7 years to diagnosis to way shorter. Under a year would be fantastic, but we’ve got to check those goals, check our treatments, and see what’s working for our patients. But I’m very excited to see where we’re headed with this.

Maria Lopes, MD, MS: Tara, your final thoughts?

Tara Hilton: In 3 to 5 years, we’ll continue to see new medicines to treat us. We’ll continue to see new diagnostic tools. I have my google searches on, so I’m always reading up on these different diagnostics that show light and can do new and cool things. I’d like to see more options out there, and less invasive options. Technology will continue to improve. There will be apps and different things to help guide patients through the journey until they’re able to get the care until we’re cured. If you ask me about 10 years out, one day, I want to [be able to] say, “I had endometriosis.” That’s where see things going.

Maria Lopes, MD, MS: As a payer, we always like to see and use the word value. Value rests on real-world data. Hopefully, a lot of the predictions that we’ve made today in terms of early identification and treatments will also lead to better outcomes, lower total cost of care, and improve this journey. Because along the way, we’re all paying for the costs that hopefully could be avoided.

I want to thank the panelists again. This has been a great discussion. To our viewing audience, we hope you found this AJMC® Peer Exchange to be useful and informative.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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