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Disease Profile

Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

LRCC; HLRCC; Multiple cutaneous and uterine leiomyomata;


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Kidney and Urinary Diseases; Rare Cancers;


Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) is a condition that causes benign tumors of smooth muscle tissue in the skin (cutaneous leiomyomas) and in the uterus in females (uterine leiomyomas, or fibroids). The condition also increases the risk of kidney cancer. Signs and symptoms usually begin in adulthood as skin growths appear on the torso, arms, legs, and occasionally on the face. They tend to increase in size and number over time. About 10% to 16% of people with HLRCC develop a type of kidney cancer called renal cell cancer; symptoms of this cancer may include lower back pain, blood in the urine, and/or a mass in the kidney that can be felt by a physician. Some people have no symptoms until the cancer is advanced. HLRCC is caused by mutations in the FH gene and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.[1]


Signs and symptoms of hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) typically begin in adulthood at an average age of 25. The skin growths (cutaneous leiomyomata) appear as skin-colored or light brown bumps on the torso and extremities, and occasionally on the face. They usually increase in size and number with age. They may be more sensitive than the surrounding skin and be painful. Uterine leiomyomata (fibroids) also occur in almost all affected women and tend to be large and numerous. Most women with these have irregular or heavy periods and pelvic pain. A renal tumor occurs in about 10% to 16% of affected individuals (at an average age of 44 years) and may cause blood in the urine, lower back pain, and a palpable mass. Some people with renal cell cancer have no symptoms until the cancer is advanced.[2][3]

This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Cutaneous leiomyosarcoma
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal dominant inheritance
Cutaneous leiomyoma
Decreased fumarate hydratase activity
Incomplete penetrance
Multiple cutaneous leiomyomas
Renal cell carcinoma
Cancer starting in small tubes in kidneys
Uterine leiomyoma
Uterine leiomyosarcoma


Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) is caused by changes (mutations) in the FH gene. This gene gives the body instructions for making an enzyme called fumarase which is needed for a series of reactions that lets cells use oxygen and energy (the citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle). People with HLRCC are born with one mutated copy of the FH gene in each cell. The second copy of the gene in some cells can mutate later on from factors in the environment, such as radiation from the sun or an error during cell division. A mutation can interfere with fumarase's role in the citric acid cycle, which may affect the regulation of oxygen levels in cells. Long-term oxygen deficiency in cells with two mutated copies of the FH gene may contribute to tumors growth and the tendency to develop leiomyomas and/or renal cell cancer.[2]


Making a diagnosis for a genetic or rare disease can often be challenging. Healthcare professionals typically look at a person’s medical history, symptoms, physical exam, and laboratory test results in order to make a diagnosis. The following resources provide information relating to diagnosis and testing for this condition. If you have questions about getting a diagnosis, you should contact a healthcare professional.

Testing Resources

  • The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) provides information about the genetic tests for this condition. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.
  • Orphanet lists international laboratories offering diagnostic testing for this condition.


    Skin growths (cutaneous leiomyomas) associated with hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) should be examined by a dermatologist. Treatment of these may include surgery to remove a painful growth; cryoablation and/or lasers; and/or medications such as calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, nitroglycerin, antidepressants, and/or antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), which have been reported to reduce pain.[4] Uterine fibroids should be evaluated by a gynecologist. These are typically treated in the same manner as those that occur in the general population. However, most women with HLRCC need medication and/or surgical removal of the fibroids (myomectomy) at a younger age. Medications may include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa), antihormonal drugs, and pain relievers. Hysterectomy should be performed only when necessary.[4] Early detection of kidney tumors in HLRCC is important because they grow aggressively. Total nephrectomy may be strongly considered in individuals with a detectable renal mass.[4]

    FDA-Approved Treatments

    The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.


    Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

    Organizations Supporting this Disease

      Social Networking Websites

      • RareConnect has an online community for patients and families with this condition so they can connect with others and share their experiences living with a rare disease. The project is a joint collaboration between EURORDIS (European Rare Disease Organisation) and NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders).

        Organizations Providing General Support

          Learn more

          These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

          Where to Start

          • Cancer.net provides oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and has information about Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer.
          • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
          • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

            In-Depth Information

            • GeneReviews provides current, expert-authored, peer-reviewed, full-text articles describing the application of genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients with specific inherited conditions.
            • Medscape Reference has a page on leiomyoma that includes some information on hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer. You may need to register to view this medical reference page, but registration is free.
            • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
            • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
              The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)
              The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)
            • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


              1. Pithukpakorn M, Toro J. Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer. GeneReviews. 2006; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=gene&part=hlrcc#hlrcc.References. Accessed 7/31/2009.
              2. Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer. Genetics Home Reference. April 2008; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition=hereditaryleiomyomatosisandrenalcellcancer. Accessed 6/30/2009.
              3. Manop Pithukpakorn and Jorge R Toro. Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer. GeneReviews. November 2, 2010; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1252/. Accessed 1/9/2014.
              4. Pithukpakorn M, Toro JR. Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer. GeneReviews. August 6, 2015; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=gene&part=hlrcc. Accessed 11/17/2015.

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