On 6 July, about 60 people participated in a LAM Education Seminar and dinner at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.Prof Judy Black, who heads the cell biology group at the Woolcock, hosted the LAM seminar as part of an ongoing public education series. The audience included thoracic physicians, GPs, nurses and several women with LAM. A balanced program of clinical, scientific and patient presentations on LAM ensured the evening was informative, interesting and relevant to all who attended.
- Prof Allan Glanville, Medical Director of Lung Transplantation and Director of Thoracic Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital, outlined the clinical view of LAM. He gave an example of a patient who is being treating successfully with the drug Everolimus.
- Dr Lyn Moir, PhD. Research Fellow, Woolcock Institute, spoke about new developments in LAM research. Led by Prof Judy Black, the cell biology team has identified a molecule that is present in healthy lungs, but not LAM lungs. This molecule, which has been named Lamstatin, stops the growth of LAM cells and the overgrowth of lymph vessels.
- Two young women with LAM, Mara Rezo and Ros Pollard, gave moving talks about their personal journeys with LAM. Scientists often comment that hearing first hand accounts from women whose lives have been turned upside down by LAM connects them with the human side of the disease and motivates them to work harder to find a cure.
- Prof David Sonnabend, the father of a woman with LAM, spoke movingly from a parent’s perspective. An insight into how deeply the families and friends of women with LAM can be affected was beneficial for both patients and physicians.
Following each presentation the audience had ample opportunity to question and discuss issues with the speakers.
Many thanks to the Woolcock for raising awareness of LAM within the medical community.