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Assessing the effectiveness of rapamycin on angiomyolipoma in tuberous sclerosis: a two years trial

Cristina Cabrera-López1, Teresa Martí2, Violeta Catalá2, Ferran Torres34, Silvia Mateu5, Jose Ballarín1 and Roser Torra1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nephrology, Inherited Renal Diseases, Fundación Puigvert, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Cartagena 340-350, Barcelona, 08025, Spain

2 Department of Radiology, Fundación Puigvert, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Cartagena 340-350, Barcelona, 08025, Spain

3 Statistics and Methodological Support (USEM), IDIBAPS, Hospital Clínic, Mallorca 183, 08036, Barcelona, Spain

4 Biostatistics Unit, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

5 Coordination in Biomedical Research, Fundación Puigvert, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Cartagena 340-350, Barcelona, 08025, Spain

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Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2012, 7:87  doi:10.1186/1750-1172-7-87

Published: 11 November 2012



Tuberous sclerosis (TS) is a rare autosomal dominant systemic disease with an estimated prevalence of 1/6000. Renal angiomyolipoma (AML) is a benign tumour with high morbidity frequently present in TS. The aim of the study was to test the effect of rapamycin in reducing the volume of AML in TS.


Twenty four-month prospective open-label, single arm, unicentre Phases II andIII study. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the effect of treatment on the reduction of at least 50% AML volume from baseline at 24 months. The secondary endpoints were: average tumour reduction, surgical complications, skin lesions and drug safety.

The study population comprised 17 patients, aged >10 years who were diagnosed with TS and had ≥1 renal AML >2 cm of diameter and had a serum creatinine < 2mg/dl and urine protein/creatinine ratio < 22.6 mg/mmol. The trial was conducted at Fundació Puigvert. Rapamycin was given to achieve stable plasma levels between 4 and 8 ng/ml. AML volume was estimated using orthogonal measurements by MRI at baseline, 6, 12 and 24 months.


Ten out of 17 patients were success responders for the main outcome −58.8%, 95%CI: 32.9% to 81.6%-. After 6 months of therapy, the mean volume decrease was 55.18% (5.01 standard error (SE); p<0.001) and 66.38% (4.41 SE; p<0.001) at year 1. There was no significant decrease between year 1 and 2. According to RECIST criteria, all patients achieved a partial response at year 1 and all but two had already achieved this partial response after 6 months.

The main analysis was performed according to the intention-to-treat principle analysis. Tumour volume was analyzed over time by means of mixed models for repeated measurement analysis. We used the baseline tumour volume as a covariate for the absolute change and percentage change from baseline data. The analysis was performed using SAS version 9.2 software, and the level of significance was established at 0.05 (two-sided).


This study show that mTOR inhibitors are a relatively safe, efficacious and less aggressive alternative than currently available options in the management of AML in TS.

Trial registration

EudraCT number: 2007-005978-30, number: NCT0121712

Angiomyolipoma; mTOR; Rapamycin; Treatment; Tuberous sclerosis