Andrew Horne, PhD, FRCOG, FRCP Edin, FRCSEd, FRSE
Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, UK
Professor Horne’s research interests include understanding the causes of ectopic pregnancy and investigating novel methods for treatment, as well as investigating the aetiology, and researching novel treatment approaches, of persistent pelvic pain and endometriosis.
Is there a new treatment option for ectopic pregnancy on the horizon?
Ectopic pregnancies are a serious gynaecological emergency that can be fatal. As such, prompt diagnosis and safe timely treatment is essential. In this lecture, I will present preclinical studies and clinical trials of a new molecularly targeted therapeutic approach for ectopic pregnancy: the use of combination gefitinib (orally available epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor) and methotrexate. Our preclinical studies suggest that combination gefitinib and methotrexate is highly effective in inducing placental cell death, and is significantly more effective than methotrexate alone. In our early human trials, encouraging preliminary efficacy data have shown that combination gefitinib and methotrexate can rapidly resolve tubal ectopic pregnancies, and large extra-tubal ectopic pregnancies. If our large multicentre randomized controlled trial confirms these findings, combination gefitinib and methotrexate could become a new medical treatment option for ectopic pregnancy.