Cyclophosphamide and Fludarabine to Treat Lupus Nephritis
This study will test the safety and effectiveness of combination therapy with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and fludarabine in treating lupus nephritis (kidney inflammation). This condition, common in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, is caused by abnormal action of immune cells called lymphocytes against the kidneys. Left untreated, severe cases can result in loss of kidney function. The current treatment of choice-intermittent high doses (pulses) of cyclophosphamide-does not work in all patients and causes infertility in many women. The rate of infertility in men is not known. This study will examine whether fludarabine can safely be given with significantly lower doses of cyclophosphamide, and if this combination controls kidney inflammation.
Patients 18 years of age and older with severe lupus nephritis (called proliferative lupus nephritis) may be eligible for this study. Candidates will have a history and physical examination; blood and urine tests; chest X-ray; electrocardiogram; cancer screening that may include a Pap smear, mammogram, rectal examination, PSA testing, and sigmoidoscopy.
Participants will be divided into one of the following treatment groups:
Group 1-Patients undergo three treatment cycles of cyclophosphamide, taken by mouth, and fludarabine, injected subcutaneously (under the skin). Patients receive both drugs on day 1 of the cycle, and fludarabine alone on days 2 and 3. This regimen is repeated once every 5 weeks for three cycles.
Group 2-Same as for Group 1, except fludarabine injections are given intravenously (through a vein) for the second treatment cycle. Patients in this group have frequent blood sampling during the first and second treatment cycles to monitor blood levels of the drug. Samples are collected before the first injection is given and at 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 4, 8, 24 and 48 hours after the third injection. A total 12 tablespoons of blood is drawn over a 2-month period.
All patients will have blood drawn once or twice a week during the first two cycles and then less frequently to monitor blood counts. Some patients will have the following additional procedures to test the effects of treatment on lymphocytes:
- Blood sample collection
- Bone marrow aspiration-The skin over the hip bone is cleaned and a local anesthetic is injected into the outer covering of the bone. Bone marrow is suctioned through the needle into an attached syringe. The procedure is done before treatment begins, at the end of treatment, and 6 months after treatment.
- Tonsillar biopsy-The tonsils are numbed with a local anesthetic and 1 to 4 pieces of tissue are removed using special forceps. The procedure is done before treatment begins, at the end of treatment, and 6 months after treatment.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen-The patients lies on a table in a narrow cylinder (the MRI scanner) containing a strong magnetic field, which is used to create images of parts of the body in small section views.
Patients will be followed for at least 24 months to monitor late side effects and the response to treatment.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Drug: SQ Fludarabine
|Study Design:||Endpoint Classification: Safety Study
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Combination of Cyclophosphamide and Fludarabine for Lupus Nephritis: Tolerance, Toxicity, Efficacy and Effects on B and T Lymphocyte Regeneration|
|Study Start Date:||January 1998|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||November 2002|
Studies at the NIH Clinical Center have shown that intermittent pulse cyclophosphamide therapy is effective for treating patients with severe lupus nephritis, but may result in substantial rates of sustained amenorrhea. Initial studies in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases have also suggested a beneficial effect from the lymphocyte-specific nucleoside analogs chlorodeoxyadenosine and fludarabine. Cyclophosphamide induces DNA cross-links whereas, nucleoside analogs inhibits DNA repair indicating complementary and partially synergistic modes of action. Whether combination of lower doses of cyclophosphamide with nucleoside analogs will increase efficacy while at the same time minimize toxicity from higher-cumulative doses of cyclophosphamide has not been determined. In this phase I/II study, 15 patients with proliferative lupus nephritis will be treated as outpatients with a combination of oral cyclophosphamide (500 mg/m(2)) on day 1 followed by fludarabine (30 mg/m(2)) subcutaneously on days 1, 2 and 3 every month for 3 cycles. The cumulative dose of cyclophosphamide in this regimen is approximately 2.5g as compared to greater than or equal to 30g in the standard NIH cyclophosphamide regimen. In this study the tolerance and toxicity of this combination will be studied. Regeneration of T and B cells following depletion including analysis of antigen-repertoire and function will also be examined. Preliminary efficacy information, including rates and time to renal remission and rates of preservation of renal function, will be analyzed to be used for future controlled studies. Pharmacokinetic analysis will be performed on a subset of patients to determine the bioavailability and pharmacokinetic parameters of subcutaneous fludarabine.
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|