New Treatment For Fibroids Without Surgery

New Treatment For Fibroids Without Surgery.

New Treatment For Fibroids Without Surgery
The location of fibroids in and around the uterus helps determine whether a woman is symptomatic, and how severe symptoms are. The location also determines if fertility is affected. ILLUSTRATION: ALAN WITSCHONKE

The first oral treatment for women with the common condition of uterine fibroids could be available as soon as summer 2018, with two other medications in the pipeline. The drugs, experts say, would provide a new treatment option for a condition most commonly treated with a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus. “For the longest time we have not really had good options from an oral medication standpoint to treat fibroids,” says Arnold Advincula, vice chairman of women’s health and chief of gynaecology at Sloane Hospital for Women at NewYork-Presbysterian/Columbia University Medical Center. “It’s nice to have some additional tools in the toolbox.”

Earlier in October the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted Allergan ’s new drug application for ulipristal acetate (UA) to treat abnormal uterine bleeding caused by uterine fibroids. The company expects a decision by May. The drug has been available in Europe and Canada for several years. Two other oral medications indicated to treat uterine fibroids are also in development. Bayer launched a phase 3 clinical trial—usually the final trial used by regulators to decide whether to approve a drug—for a similar drug, vilaprisan, in the summer. And AbbeVie is in the midst of phase 3 trials for elagolix to treat uterine fibroids and endometriosis, a disorder in which the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it, causing pelvic pain. The company hopes to have a product available by 2020.

Credit: Sumathi Reddy for The Wall Street Journal 23 October 2017.