Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) predominantly affects women and can worsen with pregnancy, estrogen treatment, and the menstrual cycle, which suggested an important role for estrogen in the development and progression of this disease.
In preclinical laboratory studies, estrogen appeared to promote the growth and spread of LAM-like cells, while suppression of estrogen reduced the survival of LAM cells. In other human clinical trials, there has been a suggestion that lung function declines more slowly in LAM patients after menopause, although this was not clear when this clinical trial was being developed.
The LAM community including LAM researchers, clinicians and patients has made incredible progress over the last 20 years. Frank McCormack and I were honored to write an invited review article “Lymphangioleiomyomatosis: A Monogenic Model of Malignancy” for the prestigious The Annual Review of Medicine, which covers significant developments in various fields of medicine since 1950.