Selective estrogen-receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors: Promising new medical therapies for endometriosis?

Peter Simsa, Attila Mihalyi, Cleophas M. Kyama, Jason M. Mwenda, Vilmos Fl̈p̈, Thomas M. D'Hooghe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Citations (Scopus)


Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease and estrogen-related pathways are imbalanced in women with endometriosis. One of the key enzymes in estrogen synthesis is aromatase. Inhibiting this pathway at several points is a promising idea for the treatment of endometriosis. The third generation of aromatase inhibitors is becoming more potent in efficacy, with fewer side effects than previous generations, but cotreatment with other hormones is needed to inhibit ovarian stimulation. Other components that promote estrogen synthesis such as COX-2 can also be potentially targeted. Selective estrogen-receptor modulators could also be interesting in view of their tissue-specific effect. However, all these new drugs are still in an early phase of development. At present, it is too early to conclude that aromatase inhibitors, COX-2 inhibiturs or selective estrogen-receptor modulators really present any added value compared with the existing drugs that can be used to achieve hormonal suppression in the medical treatment of endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-628
Number of pages12
JournalWomen's Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2007



  • Aromatase inhibitor
  • COX-2 inhibitor
  • Endometriosis
  • Estrogen production
  • SERM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this