At the Center for the Advanced Treatment and Research (CATeR) of Uterine Fibroids, our physician-scientists are dedicated to advancing and developing therapies to increase options for the non-surgical and surgical treatment of uterine fibroids. Our goal is to ensure that people affected by this devastating disease can be their happiest, healthiest self without worrying about fibroids interfering with their life goals.

New Oral Treatments for Fibroids

The University of Chicago Medicine is home to some of the world’s most renowned researchers on uterine fibroids and other complex gynecological conditions. One laboratory, led by Ayman Al-Hendy, MD, PhD, is funded by several R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health, in addition to funding from other public and private organizations, to study uterine fibroid development and non-surgical treatment options to manage or prevent fibroid symptoms and growth.

Researchers at the Al-Hendy Laboratory were part of an international group of scientists who developed two new pills for fibroids, including:

  • The first oral treatment, Oriahnn, to help control heavy menstrual bleeding in premenopausal patients with fibroids
  • A daily pill called Myfembree that can reduce heavy menstrual bleeding in premenopausal patients with fibroids

Al-Hendy and his research consortium remain focused on expanding treatment options for patients with fibroids. They are currently studying green tea extract’s (epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG) potential ability to shrink fibroids.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Fibroids

Unlocking the cause of uterine fibroids is another focus area at UChicago Medicine. Scientists are currently studying how low levels of vitamin D might contribute to fibroid development.

By understanding how vitamin D deficiencies and other factors may affect fibroids, our physician-scientists hope to develop even more treatment options, and potentially preventative options, for patients. Vitamin D is also currently being studied at UChicago Medicine as a therapy for fibroids.

Fighting Disparities in Fibroid Prevalence and Treatment

Research shows that women of color are about four times as likely as white women to develop uterine fibroids. Women of African ancestry are also more likely to have large fibroids earlier in their lives.

At the University of Chicago Medicine, scientists are trying to unravel whether certain contaminants in food or the air could contribute to fibroid development in these women. The NIH-funded project includes patients in the United States and African countries to help understand the biology of fibroids in women of color.

Across the U.S., women of African ancestry are more likely to be offered hysterectomy as the only treatment. At the CATeR Fibroid Center, doctors are working hard to advocate with organizations and community leaders to reverse that trend by increasing knowledge on and accessibility to innovative treatments for all patients.

Helping Future Generations of Fibroid Patients

If you have fibroids, you can help doctors better understand the causes and uncover the best treatments for this understudied condition. Enrolling in a clinical trial may be one step you can take to help other fibroid patients in the future.

UChicago Medicine also maintains the nation’s largest fibroid tissue bank, which can provide important insights into better fibroid therapies. If you are a patient here, you may consent to have your tissue donated to this bank to help future fibroid patients.


Learn more about fibroid research at the Al-Hendy Laboratory

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Uterine Fibroids