Study of Skin Tumors in Tuberous Sclerosis

Study Purpose

Tuberous sclerosis is a rare, hereditary disease in which patients develop multiple tumors. Although not cancerous, the tumors can affect various organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and central nervous system, with serious medical consequences. The severity of disease varies greatly among patients, from barely detectable to fatal. This study will investigate what causes skin tumors to develop in patients with this disease. Patients with tuberous sclerosis 18 years and older may enroll in this study. Participants will undergo a medical history and thorough skin examination by a dermatologist. Those with skin tumors will be asked to undergo biopsy (tissue removal) of up to eight lesions, under a local anesthetic, for research purposes. The biopsies will all be done the same day. The tissue samples will be used for: examination of genetic changes, measurement of certain proteins and other substances, and growing in culture to study the genetics of tuberous sclerosis. ...

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years - 90 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

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    Patients will be those already diagnosed with TSC (definite, probable, or possible) based on clinical criteria and/or genetic testing, and ranging in age from 18 to 90 years old.
The clinical features of TSC considered of major significance are: facial angiofibromas or forehead plaque, nontraumatic periungual fibromas, three or more hypomelanotic macules, shagreen patch, multiple retinal nodular hamartomas, cortical tuber, subependymal nodule, subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, cardiac rhabdomyoma, lymphangioleiomyomatosis, and renal angiomyolipoma. The minor features of TSC are: multiple randomly distributed pits in dental enamel, hamartomatous rectal polyps, bone cysts, cerebral white matter radial migration lines, gingival fibromas, nonrenal hamartoma, retinal achromic patch, confetti skin lesions, and multiple renal cysts (5). Definite TSC is diagnosed by the presence of two major features or one major feature plus two minor features. Probable TSC is diagnosed by the presence of one major feature and one minor feature. Possible TSC is diagnosed by the presence of either one major feature or two or more minor features. Patients will not be preselected for skin lesions, but about 80% of patients with TSC are expected to have skin lesions.


Inability to give informed consent. Tendency to keloid formation. Allergy to anesthetics. Bleeding abnormality.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Joel Moss, M.D.
Principal Investigator Affiliation National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

NIH, U.S. Fed
Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Tuberous Sclerosis
Study Website: View Trial Website
Additional Details

Patients with tuberous sclerosis develop benign cutaneous tumors that are typically multiple in number and location. These tumors include facial angiofibromas, forehead plaques, shagreen patches, periungual fibromas, and gingival fibromas. The tumors are permanent, slow growing, and often disfiguring. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the molecular basis for these tumors. Specifically, we plan to identify the genetically altered cells in these hamartomatous lesions, and to quantify factors (e.g. cytokines) produced by these cells which induce the growth of these tumors. To accomplish this, we plan to obtain samples of these cutaneous tumors, to test tumor DNA for loss of heterozygosity, and to measure RNA and protein expression levels.

Arms & Interventions


: Group 1

Patients will be those already diagnosed with TSC (definite or possible)


Contact a Trial Team

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Bethesda, Maryland




National Institutes of Health Clinical Center

Bethesda, Maryland, 20892

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