Patient enrollment is underway for the first US-based study comparing MR-guided focused ultrasound and uterine artery embolization (UAE) for the treatment of uterine fibroids. The study, called The Fibroid Interventions: Reducing Symptoms Today and Tomorrow (FIRSTT) trial, is now open at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and at Duke University in Durham, NC. Study participants will be randomly assigned for treatment with either FUS or UAE.
Expected to provide important insights regarding the benefits and potential drawbacks of newer non-surgical treatment approaches for uterine fibroids, the study will follow patients for three years. Its goal is to assess how effective treatments are in symptom relief, side effects, impact on women's quality of life, need for additional treatment, potential for future fertility 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 long-lasting alternatives to surgery," says Elizabeth A. Stewart, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic. "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 seeks to enroll 220 women who can be treated at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota or Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Complete information about the study and its eligibility requirements can be found here.
A Facebook group for women interested in the study has been established. Follow this link if you are interested.