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New research demonstrates potential diagnosis, treatment benefits
Date:1/10/2008

, study co-author, Division Director of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at the UC College of Medicine, and Scientific Director for The LAM Foundation. We can now design larger trials powered to observe treatment effects on the lungs and kidneys.

Both TSC and LAM are associated with gene mutations that result in inappropriate activation of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), an enzyme that helps control the growth and proliferation of all cells. Researchers suspect that sirolimus works by inhibiting mTOR signaling. Several new studies are currently underway, including a Phase III double-blind, randomized trial to examine the effect of sirolimus on lung function in patients with LAM.

Side effects observed in the proof of concept study included mouth ulcers, diarrhea, upper respiratory infections and joint pain. Support was provided by The LAM Foundation, the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (with funding from the Kettering Fund), Wyeth, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

VEGF-D Serum Test

In a Jan. 10 letter to the editor published in NEJM, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine investigators reported the serum VEGF-D may be a clinically useful diagnostic test for LAM. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major angiogenic growth factor produced by malignant cells. Previous research reported elevated levels of VEGF-D, but not VEGF-A or VEGF-C in patients with LAM.

Investigators found VEGF-D levels were elevated up to 30-fold in LAM patients, but were normal in patients with lymphangiomatosis, PLCH, and emphysema, suggesting the serum may distinguish LAM from S-other cystic and chylous lung diseases.

Following validation in a larger, longitudinal study, the test could be used to test for LAM in women who present with characteristic symptoms of LAM, such as a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) and/or lung cysts. Women who have tuberous sclerosis comp
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Contact: Shellie Byrum
sbyrum@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222 x2516
The LAM Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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