U-M joins $20 million project to compare treatments for uterine fibroids

The University of Michigan will join nine other clinical centers across the country working to compare the effectiveness of different treatment strategies for women with uterine fibroids.

The five-year, $20 million project is funded by The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The effort centers around building a national registry tracking patients, treatments and outcomes.

Sites aim to enroll roughly 10,000 women aged 18-54 representing diverse geographic, racial, ethnic and clinical backgrounds who are being treated for uterine fibroids. U-M will focus recruitment for the registry on the greater Ann Arbor community, Flint, and the Detroit suburban area with the goal to recruit 500 to 1,000 women for the study.

"Uterine fibroids affect a significant population of women across the country who require some form of treatment, including medication or surgery," says Erica Marsh, M.D., chief of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the principal investigator for the Michigan site.

"Unfortunately, we don't have data that allow us to compare outcomes between patients who receive different therapies for fibroids. Understanding how quality of life, recurrence rates and fertility rates differ between treatments is critical information for women, their families and clinicians who are making decisions about fibroid care. This effort will allow us to better counsel women on the outcomes they can expect from a given treatment."

Uterine fibroids are the most common, benign tumors in women and are the leading indication for hysterectomy in the U.S. While they are asymptomatic in some women, they can sometimes lead to significant pain, bleeding, and fertility problems.

Treatment options include watchful waiting; medical treatment; embolization, ablation; and surgical procedures including myomectomy and hysterectomy.

Source: University of Michigan Health System

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