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How Is BCL6 Related to Endometriosis?

Have you been dealing with unexplained infertility? An overexpressed BCL-6 (B-cell lymphoma-6) gene could be the indicator that endometriosis is the cause. High levels of BCL-6 are linked to endometriosis, a common cause of infertility in women.. If the results are positive, you may benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and/or customized treatment.

What Is BCL6?

BCL-6 is a gene that encodes a tissue-building protein. Known for its role as a lymphoma marker, it has been found to be very useful  in the area of fertility, BCL6 is induced by inflammation. When BCL-6 protein increases, it can affect the immune environment by raising the levels of various inflammatory cytokines. When inflammation appears in and around the uterine lining, it often impacts successful embryo development.

BCL6 pairs with an ingenious enzyme called SIRT1, linked to longevity and generally thought to be beneficial. Like BCL6, however, SIRT1 is a double agent, linked to the highly proliferative phenotype of endometriosis, promoting progesterone resistance and favoring cell proliferation. SIRT1 is induced by KRAS, a known oncogene, and SIRT1 and BCL6 together bind to, and turn off, key pregnancy-related genes. In many ways, it now appears that BCL6 and SIRT1 are at the center of progesterone resistance that affects so many of those down-stream genes. 

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a prevalent medical condition in which the endometrial tissues that usually line up the uterus grow elsewhere. The condition affects millions of women worldwide and has various symptoms. Most cases of endometriosis involve abnormal growths in the fallopian tube. The endometrial tissues can block the egg’s path, preventing ovulation and fertilization. 

Every month, the endometrial lining in the uterus thickens, sheds, and bleeds out during menstruation. The tissues retain such characteristics even when they grow in the fallopian tube. All endometrial tissues will thicken and shed during the menstrual cycle, but those in abnormal places won’t find a natural pathway to leave the body. The trapped tissues can cause irritation, cysts, scarring, and adhesions in the surrounding areas.

The Link Between BCL-6 and Endometriosis

Evidence relating to BCL6 endometriosis has been published for more than a decade. Since ReceptivaDx was first offered in 2017, more than 15,000 studied cases have aligned with the published studies showing the relationship between positive BCL6 and inflammatory conditions including endometriosis, 

 

BCL6 Endometriosis Testing & Treatment

We recommend visiting a fertility specialist if you cannot conceive after months of unprotected sex. Infertility can result from endometriosis, hormonal changes, chronic illness, and other factors.

Your fertility doctor will review the medical history and past procedures. They will also perform blood work and other evaluations, depending on what they infer from the appointment. If the results don’t point to any specific issue, the fertility doctor may recommend imaging with an X-ray or an ultrasound along with additional tests for the embryo such as PGT testing,

Your fertility doctor may  recommend a BCL6 test before performing other complex evaluations or they may wait until after a failed transfer if going through IVF.  A positive result indicates high levels of the BCL-6 protein, which strongly suggests endometriosis. If the test is negative, it gives you a high probability that endometriosis is not the issue. 

If endometriosis is suspected, it can be treated surgically through laparoscopy or by using hormon suppression drugs for 60 days such as Depot Lupron. These drugs suppress the inflamation allowing the embryo to attach and grow on the uterine lining, If you have tried to get pregnant unsuccessfully, seeing a fertility doctor may be the  best solution. 

For more information. Visit us at ReceptivaDX 

Bruce Lessey, M.D., Ph.D. – Scientific Advisor
Lessey’s Corner

The ReceptivaDxTM Test was developed by Cicero Diagnostics in conjunction with Pathology Consultants, Inc. of Greenville, SC. Pathology Consultants, Inc. is a laboratory certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). As with other laboratory-developed tests, this testing service has not been cleared or approved by the US FDA or any other federal regulatory agencies. Data have not been submitted to or evaluated by Federal regulatory agencies and the test is not for sale as an In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) in the US or the EU.


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