“Lactate is produced when the body breaks down glucose (and is also the cause of the uncomfortable stitches that can suddenly strike runners). Its increased presence, the researchers reckoned, suggested a hand in the development of endometriosis lesions, possibly similar to the role lactate plays in helping cancer cells proliferate. Scientists then looked for a drug that had already been tested in cancer patients, settling eventually on dichloroacetate (DCA). This is also used to treat rare types of metabolic disorders in children in which excess lactic acid builds up in the blood.

A small group of human patients who were treated with DCA reported lessened pain and better quality of life. A trial with a larger cohort, plus a placebo arm, is next. If the drug is approved, which may be possible within the next five to seven years, DCA will be the first new endometriosis treatment discovered in four decades.”

From The Economist.