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Fibroid Growth Study (FGS)

Epidemiology Branch

The Fibroid Growth Study examined the variation in fibroid growth and the biological differences between fibroids that were likely to be growing and those likely to be non-growing.  Uterine fibroids are very common, but often asymptomatic. Large tumors are more likely to cause health problems than small tumors, but there are few data on fibroid growth.

The purpose of this study is to better understand fibroid growth among women with clinically relevant tumors. The specific aims are to:

  • Describe variation (between tumors, between women) in fibroid growth
  • Examine biological differences between growing and non-growing fibroids

The research team enrolled 116 women with clinically relevant fibroids (those greater than five centimeters in diameter or a uterine size equivalent to 12 weeks gestation). Participants were followed until surgery or for up to one year if there was no surgical treatment. Magnetic resonance images (MRIs) were taken at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months or presurgery. A subgroup of those having myomectomies was also followed with MRIs post-myomectomy. Blood and urine were collected at each MRI examination. For those having surgery, tissue samples were collected from each fibroid and from normal myometrium.

Histological staining of fixed tissue specimens was conducted to assess proliferation, vascularity, and fibrosis. Participants were interviewed by telephone monthly to collect data on symptom change during participation.

Principal Investigators

Shyamal D. Peddada, Ph.D.
Acting Branch Chief, Biostatistics & Computational Biology Branch and Principal Investigator
Tel (919) 541-1122
Fax (919) 541-4311

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