Optimizing treatments for lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2012 Jun;6(3):267-76. doi: 10.1586/ers.12.26.


Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a multisystem disease predominantly affecting premenopausal women, is associated with cystic lung destruction and lymphatic and kidney tumors. LAM results from the proliferation of a neoplastic cell that has mutations in the tuberous sclerosis complex 1 or 2 genes, leading to activation of a critical regulatory protein, mammalian target of rapamycin. In this report, we discuss the molecular mechanisms regulating LAM cell growth and report the results of therapeutic trials employing new targeted agents. At present, inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin such as sirolimus appear to be the most promising therapeutic agents, although drug toxicity and development of resistance are potential problems. As the pathogenesis of LAM is being further recognized, other therapeutic agents such as matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors, statins, interferon, VEGF inhibitors, chloroquine analogs and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, along with sirolimus or a combination of several of these agents, may offer the best hope for effective therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / diagnosis
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / genetics
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / metabolism
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / therapy*
  • Male
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents