LAM Week

LAM Week

Welcome Message

Welcome to the "LAM Week at the ATS"! In this awareness campaign, we would like to share information that will help guide patients and their families, advance research, and support health care providers in their efforts for treatment.

LAM (Lymphangioleiomyomatosis) is a rare disease that affects mostly women. LAM is often characterized by difficult breathing after exertion which had led to miss- and under-diagnosed LAM —symptoms of individuals with LAM are often attributed to asthma, emphysema or pulmonary bronchitis.  Other salient features of LAM are recurrent pneumothorax and abundance of chylous fluid, the formation of cysts in the lung parenchyma, and invasive overgrowth of atypical smooth muscle-like cells (LAM cells) in the lung and lymphatics.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, impressive progress has been made in the understanding of this disease. Major milestones include the evidence of a genetic link in LAM, the discovery of mutations in the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) genes in LAM patients, the abnormal activation within LAM cells of mTOR, an important regulator of cell growth and proliferation, the performance of clinical trials with mTOR inhibitors, the finding of a metastatic behavior of LAM, the discovery and development of VEGF-D as a biomarker useful for prognosis, diagnosis and treatment, and the approval of the first FDA drug for LAM treatment. Although symptoms in the majority of LAM patients improve with mTOR inhibitors while in therapy, a minority of patients do not respond. Therefore, efforts in LAM research continues and focuses on developing new molecular targets and on determining a beneficial effect of mTOR inhibitors, such as sirolimus, in early disease to prevent progression as well as improve symptoms and quality of life.

We invite you to obtain further information about LAM that is provided within these web pages.  At ATS, we hope that the synergy among patients, the LAM Foundation, health care providers and investigators will generate the tools that will ultimately conquer LAM converting it from a deadly disease to a manageable chronic disease.

Blanca Camoretti-Mercado, Ph.D.

Blanca Camoretti-Mercado, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Morsani College of Medicine
University of South Florida
Respiratory, Structure & Function Assembly Chair, American Thoracic Society
Board Member, American Thoracic Society

Mary Harbaugh, PhD

Mary Harbaugh, PhD
Board Member
The LAM Foundation
Member, ATS Public Advisory Roundtable

The LAM Foundation


The LAM Foundation urgently seeks safe and effective treatments, and ultimately a cure, for lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) through advocacy and the funding of promising research. We are dedicated to serving the scientific, medical and patient communities by offering information, resources and a worldwide network of hope and support.