feMMe Trial of patients with endometrial cancer
A new approach to treating endometrial cancer
Uterine cancer is the most common gynecological cancer in Australia, ahead of ovarian cancer and more prevalent than cervical cancer, yet many are not familiar with its characteristics.
Originating from abnormal cells in the lining of the uterus or the muscle tissue, it is estimated that about 2400 women are diagnosed with uterine cancer each year in Australia.
Currently the standard treatment for early stage endometrial cancer is a total hysterectomy (an operation to remove the uterus) and removal of both ovaries.
However, a group of King Edward Memorial Hospital consultants and researchers are taking part in the Australian feMMe trial to create a new approach to the treatment of endometrial cancer with the aim of sparing some women major surgery.
The feMMe study was introduced when hospitals across Australia reported success for individual young women who, desperate to retain their fertility, were treated for uterine cancer with high doses of the hormone progesterone.
Now, approximately 180 women across Australia will be sought for the feMMe trial, with participants either being young enough to still have children and want to retain fertility, or having one or more severe medical conditions in addition to the endometrial cancer, which puts them at risk through surgery.
The feMMe trial aims to treat participants less invasively through the use of the Mirena, an intra-uterine device that delivers progesterone directly to the womb lining. This is the same device that is commonly used as a contraceptive (also known as an IUD).
The gains of a successful project will be a reduction in hospital bed days, radical surgery, and surgical complications and their associated costs. It will also allow an increasing number of women to maintain their fertility and have children.
Those working on our project include Dr Paul Cohen and Professor Yee Leung from UWA’s Medical School, and leading the feMMe study and recruiting at 15 sites throughout Australia and New Zealand is Professor Andreas Obermair from the University of Queensland.
Our study is funded by the Lord Mayors Community Trust, University of Queensland Academic Title Holders Grant, Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation, Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital Foundation, Cancer Australia, and the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group.
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WA women with endometrial cancer are taking part in the Australian trial of a treatment that can delay the need for radical surgery. Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer and is diagnosed in 2400 Australian women each year.Read more
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Queensland researchers are trialling a new approach to see if it can treat endometrial cancer in its early stages without the need for surgery. Called the feMMe trial, it compares three different approaches using the IUD Mirena which delivers the hormone progesterone to the lining of the uterus. Some women will use the IUD alone, others will use the IUD with a dose of the anti-diabetes drug Metformin, and a third will use the IUD and a weight loss program.Read more