NZ LAM Trust Director Bronwyn Gray attended the annual International LAM Science Conference held in Cincinnati Ohio in March. Trustees Dr Hetty Rodenburg of Wellington and Assoc Professor John Kolbe of Green Lane Hospital, Auckland also attended; Dr Rodenburg facilitated specialist sessions with LAM patients and their families and Dr Kolbe attended as the senior respiratory physician looking after LAM patients in New Zealand.
The 2004 LAM Foundation Scientific Research Conference, held concurrently with the LAM patient and family conference, bought together researchers from diverse disciplines to discuss the pulmonary smooth muscle cell infiltration and cystic lung destruction that occurs in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).
The work of established LAM investigators with parallel interests in molecular genetics,pathology,smooth muscle biology,lung remodelling and cell biology was presented and discussed. The conference saw the largest ever number of investigators – more than 130 basic and clinical scientists, meeting together – united in pursuit of one common goal; to further understand and to conquer LAM.
Green Lane Hospital’s Dr John Kolbe, attended a pre conference meeting, together with a number of respiratory specialists from around the world, who came together to discuss a proposal to look at a potential International LAM patient treatment trial involving the drug rapamycin.
Over the past year, a number of American women with LAM, have taken part in a voluntary trial using rapamycin, the anecdotal results of which, indicate that a larger, more formal potential trial could be planned and got underway.
Twelve specialist respiratory physicians from eleven countries including New Zealand/Australia, USA, Canada, England, Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Japan, attended the meeting and the New Zealand LAM Trust is very pleased that patients here and in Australia who may be candidates for a trial using rapamycin will have the opportunity of being informed of the planning of any trial.