Category Archives: Women’s Health

Signalling molecule regulates women’s fertility and cancer of the uterus

News Story

A signalling molecule important for fertility in women could also be involved in cancer of the uterus, a Melbourne researcher has found.

Associate Professor Eva Dimitriadis, from Prince Henry’s Institute, says her research shows the molecule, interleukin 11 (IL11), is one of the factors important for the successful attachment or implantation of the embryo in the uterus.

She says the focus of infertility research is often on the quality of the embryo but the attachment of the embryo to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is also important.

Dimitriadis says she decided to look at endometrial cancer because IL11 belongs to a family of molecules that are involved in cancer cell invasion.

She says endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system, yet there are no suitable screening tests and treatment options are limited.

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Scientist Profile: Associate Professor Eva Dimitriadis

Eva Dimitriadis spoke with Science MoJo about some of the nuts and bolts of a science career. She goes through why she chose a career in science and, in particular, her field of women’s reproductive health.

Eva runs a lab at Prince Henry’s Institute in Melbourne and specialises in the biology of pregnancy.

Music credit for the video: The Strange Italian Song by the Juanitos (creative commons 2.0)

Scientific study tests whether acupuncture can help menopausal hot flushes

News Story

A Melbourne doctor has started a trial of acupuncture for menopausal women after finding many of her patients did not want to take hormone replacement therapy.

Dr Caroline Ee, a general practitioner and acupuncturist from the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, has already completed a pilot study of 23 women but needs more women for this study.

“I tried using acupuncture for a few women who were flushing and they felt a lot better,” Ee says.

Ee says there is controversy about universities teaching complementary medicine, but that it is important to look at these treatments because many people use them.

“Our study is one of the examples of the ways in which we are using very strict scientific principles to examine an old therapy,” she says.

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