Similar trends in serum VEGF-D levels and kidney angiomyolipoma responses with longer duration sirolimus treatment in adults with tuberous sclerosis

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56199. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056199. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


Context: We have previously shown that serum VEGF-D is elevated at baseline, correlates with kidney angiomyolipoma size at baseline and 12 months, and decreases with sirolimus treatment in adults with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). To further investigate the utility of serum VEGF-D for longer term monitoring of TSC kidney disease, we present VEGF-D level results with 24 month follow-up.

Objective: To compare 24 month VEGF-D levels in two subgroups of sirolimus treated patients (OFF SIROLIMUS AFTER 12 MONTHS or ON SIROLIMUS AFTER 12 MONTHS). DESIGN AND INTERVENTION(S): Serum VEGF-D was measured in samples collected from subjects enrolled in a phase 2 multicenter trial evaluating sirolimus for the treatment of kidney angiomyolipomas associated with TSC or TSC/LAM. All participants were treated with sirolimus from 0-12 months. During months 12-24, sirolimus was discontinued in one subgroup. The other subgroup was treated with additional sirolimus.

Setting: Adult TSC participants were recruited from six clinical sites in the United States (comprehensive TSC clinics, 5; urology clinic, 1).

Patients: There were 28 TSC patients who completed all 24 months of the study and serum samples were available at 24 months from 18/28 patients.

Main outcome measure(s): We compared the percent change in VEGF-D levels (baseline to 24 months) in patients from the two treatment subgroups.

Results: At 24 months, VEGF-D levels decreased by 67% compared with baseline (to 787 ± 426 pg/ml) in the ON SIROLIMUS AFTER 12 MONTHS group versus a 13% decrease (to 2971 ± 4014 pg/ml) in the OFF SIROLIMUS AFTER 12 MONTHS group (p=0.013, Mann-Whitney test). A similar trend was observed in kidney angiomyolipoma size but not in pulmonary function tests. Conclusions Serum VEGF-D may be useful for monitoring response to treatment with sirolimus and kidney angiomyolipoma size in patients with TSC, but confirmation is needed.

Trial registration: Clinical NCT00126672.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiomyolipoma / blood*
  • Angiomyolipoma / drug therapy*
  • Angiomyolipoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / blood
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / blood*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / pathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D / blood*


  • VEGFD protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D
  • Sirolimus

Associated data