Cellular Origins of Endometriosis: Towards Novel Diagnostics and Therapeutics

Caitlin E. Filby, Luk Rombauts, Grant W. Montgomery, Linda C. Giudice, Caroline E. Gargett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Endometriosis remains an enigmatic disease of unknown etiology, with delayed diagnosis and poor therapeutic options. This review will discuss the cellular, physiological, and genomic evidence of Sampson's hypothesis of retrograde menstruation as a cause of pelvic endometriosis and as the basis of phenotypic heterogeneity of the disease. We postulate that collaborative research at the single cell level focused on unlocking the cellular, physiological, and genomic mechanisms of endometriosis will be accompanied by advances in personalized diagnosis and therapies that target unique subtypes of endometriosis disease. These advances will address the clinical conundrums of endometriosis clinical care-including diagnostic delay, suboptimal treatments, disease recurrence, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and quality of life. There is an urgent need to improve outcomes for women with endometriosis. To achieve this, it is imperative that we understand which cells form the lesions, how they arrive at distant sites, and what factors govern their ability to survive and invade at ectopic locations. This review proposes new research avenues to address these basic questions of endometriosis pathobiology that will lay the foundations for new diagnostic tools and treatment pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 2020


  • endometrial waves
  • endometriosis
  • pathogenesis
  • retrograde menstruation
  • stem/progenitor cells

Cite this