Illustrious LAM researcher, Dr Lisa Henske of Brigham and Women’s
Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston USA was in Sydney in
Reporting on recent LAM meetings in the USA and UK, Dr Henske noted a
shift in thinking. Experts are envisaging where research will be in
five years’ time. “There is even talk of a cure for LAM,” she said.
To review the latest developments in research into
lymphangioleiomyomatosis, as well as its sometime partner disease,
Tuberous Sclerosis, Dr Henske was in Australia as the guest of
Tuberous Sclerosis Australia, for a weekend conference held at the
University of NSW 14-15 November and sponsored by Novartis.
Asked about the relevance of Australian research internationally, Dr
Henske likened all research to a fishing expedition. “You never know
what you’ll come up with, and we need lots of people to be fishing,”
Australian Bree Dixon addressed the full conference, recounting her
life journey with LAM and TS. Joining her in the audience for the
sessions focusing on LAM were women living with LAM who had travelled
from Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales, their partners, LAM
experts, and committee members of LAM Australia Research Alliance.
Prof Allan Glanville of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and Assoc Prof
Brian Oliver of Sydney’s Woolcock Institute and UTS followed Dr Henske
in speaking about LAM.
Prof Glanville heads the Heart Lung Clinic at Sydney’s St Vincent’s
Hospital, which treats close to half of approximately 100 women living
with LAM in Australia. Stressing how important it is to make a correct
diagnosis, he presented some cases. He highlighted the case of a LAM
patient who deteriorated significantly until treated successfully with
LAM President, Assoc Prof Oliver outlined the research he heads at
Sydney’s Woolcock Institute, currently focusing on biomarkers.
While “sporadic” LAM occurs due to a spontaneous mutation, and affects
an estimated five to eight women in a million worldwide, a less rare
and usually less aggressive form of LAM may develop in women born with
For more about the LAM work of Dr Lisa Henske see www.henskelab.org.