Letter Regarding “Cellular senescence in usual type uterine leiomyoma.”

27 04 2010

To the Editor:

We were very interested to find that Laser et al. found greater than 50% cellular senescence in 11% of their leiomyomata (1), similar to the 7% of tumors in the NIEHS fibroid growth study that were found to be rapidly shrinking (2).

We were particularly interested in the finding of increased senescence with age. We reported lower fibroid growth rates with age in tumors from the NIEHS Fibroid Growth Study, but only for white women (2). Age was not associated with tumor growth rates in tumors from black women. We recognize that numbers are small, but was there any suggestion of a difference between blacks and others in the pattern of age-related senescence for the 86 tumors in the Laser et al. analysis?

Donna D. Baird, Ph.D.
Epidemiology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Barbara Davis, V.M.D., Ph.D.
Biomedical Sciences, Section of Pathology
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
North Grafton, Massachusetts

Shyamal D Peddada, Ph.D.
Biostatistics Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

References
1. Laser J, Lee P, Wei J-J. Cellular senescence in usual type uterine leiomyoma. Fertil Steril 2010;93:2020-6.

2. Peddada SD, Laughlin SK, Miner K, Guyon JP, Haneke K, Vahdat HL, Semelka RC, Kowalik A, Armao D, Davis B, Baird DD. Growth of uterine leiomyomata among premenopausal black and white women. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2008;105:19887-92.

Published online in Fertility and Sterility doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.04.068

The Authors Respond:

We thank Drs. Baird, Davis and Peddada for sharing their findings of the natural history for fibroid growth in association with age and ethnicity (1). Since racial disparity for fibroid growth is a very interesting topic, it deserves another look for racial differences in cellular senescence.

We have a total of 86 fibroids (36 from black women, 28 from white women, 22 from women of other races) for the study (Table 1) (2). The average percentage of senescence was 20.1 ± 2.84 from white women and 19.1 ± 3.05 from black women. No statistical significance was found in this small cohort. However, the experiment was not designed for the study of racial differences. In particular, the sample size was small and age and clinical settings were not matched between black and white women. Apparently it requires a well-designed study to address the issue of age-related cellular senescence for fibroid growth in different races.

Jian-Jun Wei, M.D.
Department of Pathology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

References
1. Peddada SD, Laughlin SK, Miner K, Guyon JP, Haneke K, Vahdat HL, Semelka RC, Kowalik A, Armao D, Davis B, Baird DD. Growth of uterine leiomyomata among premenopausal black and white women. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2008;105:19887-92.

2. Laser J, Lee P, Wei J-J. Cellular senescence in usual type uterine leiomyoma. Fertil Steril 2010;93:2020-6.

Published online in Fertility and Sterility doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.04.069

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