An antibody can relieve some of the key symptoms of a painful disorder when given to monkeys, researchers have found.
Endometriosis is a long-term condition that affects 10% of women globally. It is caused when cells lining the uterus grow outside the uterus, which can lead to symptoms such as pain, heavy bleeding and, in some cases, infertility. Monkeys can also naturally develop the condition.
A study led by the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition (NIBIOHN), and Jichi Medical University, both Japan, engineered an antibody that targets the molecule interleukin-8, which is involved in inflammation in the condition.
When the antibody was injected into female macaques with endometriosis, the researchers saw the treatment reduced scarring and inflammation in the animals.
Commenting on the study, Dr Steven Vasilev at St John’s Cancer Institute, California, USA, told Medical News Today: “Endometriosis in monkeys closely simulates [the] behaviour of human endometriosis, making this an excellent model. There is a pressing need for disease-modifying drugs or biological agents to treat the condition.”