Leiomyosarcoma (LMS)

For a much more detailed guide, please read our leiomyosarcoma information pack.

Also known as:

  • LMS
  • Uterine Leiomyosarcoma (ULMS)
  • Tumours in individual sites might be given a more detailed name that includes the organ it affects e.g. liver leiomyosarcoma, or cutaneous leiomyosarcoma (skin).
  • Previously GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumour) was considered to be a type of leiomyosarcoma, but it is now known to have a very different biology and is now considered as a separate disease.

What is leiomyosarcoma (LMS)?

Leiomyosarcoma is a form of rare cancer that develops in the smooth muscles. Smooth muscles are located in the walls of ‘hollow organs’, such as the stomach, intestines, and uterus. Leiomyosarcomas most often occur in the back of the abdomen, the abdomen and within the walls of the uterus. Though much less frequent, they can occur in the arms and legs.

There are three different types of leiomyosarcomas;

Somatic soft tissue – This is the most common type. It occurs in the connective tissues.

Cutaneous/subcutaneous – This occurs in the piloerector muscles of the eyes and skin.

Vascular – The least common type, affecting major blood vessels connecting to the heart.

How rare is LMS?

In the UK, around 600 people are diagnosed annually with LMS.

Who does LMS affect?

LMS is most common in those over the age of 50.

Why is RareCan interested in LMS?

RareCan is working to accelerate research into leiomyosarcoma by making it easier for researchers to connect with people with this rare form of cancer. You can help us do this by becoming a RareCan member and sharing information with us about your LMS diagnosis. We will then get in touch with you about any research opportunities that might be suitable for you.

Looking for a different cancer type?

Please visit our ‘rare cancer list’ to search for your cancer type 

Useful links

If you are looking for further support with leiomyosarcoma we recommend the following websites:

Sarcoma UK

Sarcoma UK

Sarcoma UK is a charity for those with bone and soft tissue sarcoma diagnoses including leiomyosarcoma. They provide information on all types of sarcomas and have a patient support line to help assist with any queries and worries.