Many women would welcome relief from their fibroids without having to undergo surgery. But there is a need for more scientific data to help physicians and women wade through their choices beyond hysterectomy. A study has begun that will provide important insight into understanding the benefits and potential drawbacks of newer non-surgical treatment approaches. Mayo Clinic and Duke University are conducting the nation’s first study to compare uterine artery embolization (UAE) and MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) for the treatment of uterine fibroids.
The study, called Fibroid Interventions: Reducing Symptoms Today and Tomorrow (FIRSTT), will randomly assign women to be treated with either UAE or MRgFUS. The study will follow patients for three years to assess how effective the treatments are in symptom relief, absence of side effects, impact on quality of life, need for additional treatment, and even the costs associated with each approach.
“Many women suffering from fibroids go to their local doctor and are offered hysterectomy to treat their fibroids, but are given no alternatives to surgery,” says Elizabeth A. Stewart, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mayo Clinic and Principal Investigator of the study. “Both UAE and FUS are excellent less invasive options for women, but we have very little scientific evidence comparing these two approaches. The major goal of this important study is to generate information that will guide physicians and patients on the options that are right for them.”
The success of the FIRSTT trial depends on women participating in the research. The study is now enrolling 220 women who can be treated at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota or Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. To find out more about the study and whether you are eligible to participate, please click here.
If you want to engage in a Facebook group for women interested in the study, please follow this link.