Endometriosis can be defined as a benign estrogen-dependent disorder in which endometrium-like tissues reside outside of the uterine cavity. Studies now indicate that multiple genetic and epigenetic changes (reminiscent of neoplastic processes) are involved in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. Given the molecular similarities between endometriosis and cancer, it is reasonable to apply the cancer stem cell model concept to the pathogenesis of endometriosis. In this article, I review and discuss the stem cell model for endometriosis in which endometriosis originates from endometrial stem/progenitor cells within eutopic and ectopic sites.
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