A clinical trial involving 100 women in Edinburgh and London is testing whether dichloroacetate, a drug licensed for the treatment of childhood metabolic disorders and some cancers, can relieve the chronic pain and other symptoms of endometriosis. The disease affects around one in 10 women of reproductive age and occurs when tissue similar to the womb lining grows elsewhere in the body, causing inflammation, pain, and scarring. Current treatments, including hormone-based drugs and surgery, have side effects and are not suitable for all patients. Dichloroacetate would be the first non-hormonal, non-surgical treatment for endometriosis if the trial is successful.
The clinical trial, which is funded by the Scottish government and the women’s health charity Wellbeing of Women, follows previous research that showed cells from the pelvic wall of women with endometriosis produced higher amounts of lactate. Dichloroacetate was found to reduce lactate production and the size of endometriosis lesions in lab and mouse experiments. The trial will assess whether the drug can alleviate pain and other symptoms of endometriosis, which affects 1.5 million women in the UK alone. The hope is that the trial will confirm dichloroacetate’s effectiveness, paving the way for the first new class of endometriosis drug in 40 years.
[Source: The Guardian] (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/08/endometriosis-new-treatment-non-hormonal-drug-dichloroacetate)