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Dermatol Online J. 2012 Jan 15;18(1):15.

Facial angiofibromas treated with topical rapamycin: an excellent choice with fast response.

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Ramón y Cajal Hospital Madrid, Spain.


Tuberous sclerosis (TS) is the second most common genodermatosis in our country and one of its main characteristics is the presence of facial angiofibromas. These benign tumors can be really bothersome for some patients and there is not a gold-standard treatment. Laser therapy has been used with good responses but it is a painful option and recurrence is guaranteed. TS develops as a result of a mutation of one of two genes, TSC1 or TSC2, which encode for hamartin and tuberin, respectively. TSC1 and TSC2 are tumor suppressors that inhibit mTOR, which if mutated results in mTOR activation, leading to an increase in protein translation. This eventually induces formation of hamartomatous tumors in patients with TSC. Oral rapamycin had been reported to be effective for the treatment of various tumors, apparently because of its action of inhibiting the m-TOR complex. Recently it has been suggested that the drug may be effective when applied topically. We report the 6th case of facial AF treated with topical rapamycin, 1 percent, once per day. An excellent response was achieved surprisingly rapidly. We propose this option as a safe and effective therapy.

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