For over 100 years, endometriosis, as a chronic, estrogen-dependent, inflammatory, heritable disease affecting approximately 5–10% of women in reproductive age has been the focus of clinicians and scientists. In spite of numerous environmental, genetic, epigenetic, endocrine, and immunological studies, our knowledge of endometriosis is still fragmentary, and its precise pathophysiology and pathogenomics remain a mystery. The implementation of new technologies has provided tremendous progress in understanding the many intrinsic molecular mechanisms in the development of endometriosis, with progenitor and stem cells (SCs) of the eutopic endometrium as the starting players and endometriotic lesions as the final pathomorphological trait. Novel data on the molecular, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms of the disease are briefly outlined. We hypothesize the existence of an endometriosis development genetic program (EMDP) that governs the origin of endometrium stem cells programmed for endometriosis (1), their transition (metaplasia) into mesenchymal SCs (2), and their invasion of the peritoneum and progression to endometriotic lesions (3). The pros and cons of the recent unifying theory of endometriosis are also discussed. Complex genomic and epigenetic interactions at different stages of the endometriosis process result in different forms of the disease, with specific features and clinical manifestations. The significance of the EMDP in elaborating a new strategy for endometriosis prediction, prevention, and treatment is discussed.
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