Trial record 3 of 2465 for:    anemia

Rituximab to Treat Moderate Aplastic Anemia, Pure Red Cell Aplasia, or Diamond Blackfan Anemia

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: September 29, 2005
Last updated: November 3, 2010
Last verified: June 2010

This study will test whether the immune-suppressing drug rituximab can increase blood counts and reduce the need for transfusions in patients with moderate aplastic anemia, pure red cell aplasia, or Diamond Blackfan anemia. These are rare and serious blood disorders in which the immune system turns against bone marrow cells, causing the bone marrow to stop producing red blood cells in patients with pure red cell aplasia and Diamond Blackfan anemia, and red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in patients with aplastic anemia. Rituximab is a laboratory-made monoclonal antibody that recognizes and destroys white blood cells called lymphocytes that are responsible for destroying bone marrow cells in these diseases. The drug is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease of white blood cells.

Patients 2 years of age or older with pure red cell aplasia or Diamond Blackfan anemia and patients 18 years of age or older with moderate aplastic anemia who did not respond to previous immunosuppressive therapy or relapsed after treatment may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a medical history and physical examination, blood tests, electrocardiogram, and bone marrow biopsy (withdrawal of a mall sample of bone marrow through a needle).

Participants receive four doses of rituximab, once a week for 4 weeks through a needle in an arm vein. The infusion rate depends on how well the patient tolerates the drug. The first infusion usually takes 4 to 6 hours and the rest take 3 to 4 hours. The first and fourth infusions are given at NIH; the second and third may be given at NIH or by a patient's referring doctor. Patients who respond to rituximab but then relapse may receive one additional course of four doses. Patients may continue with transfusions and their current medications, including growth factors (e.g., Epogen and Neupogen) while on study, but may have to stop taking immunosuppressive drugs, such as prednisone or cyclosporine. Patients who must start another immunosuppressive medication are taken off rituximab and followed for safety with clinic visits one week and then once a month for 6 months after the first dose of rituximab.

Patients have a blood test once a week while receiving rituximab to evaluate blood counts. After treatment is completed, patients are evaluated once a month until 6 months, then once a year until 3 years to monitor the response to treatment and any drug side effects. Patients are evaluated at NIH for the 3- and 6-month visits and the annual visits. They may be seen at NIH or by their referring doctors for the 1-, 2-, 4- and 5-month visits. A blood test is done at every visit, and a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy are done at the 3-month visit (and when clinically needed to evaluate the effect of rituximab on bone marrow cells).

Condition Intervention Phase
Anemia, Aplastic
Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure
Anemia, Diamond-Blackfan
Drug: Rituximab (Rituxan)
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Pilot Study of Recombinant Humanized Anti-CD20 Antibody (Rituximab) in Patients With Moderate Aplastic Anemia, Pure Red Cell Aplasia, or Diamond Blackfan Anemia

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Primary endpoints will be changed in peripheral blood counts (platelets, absolute neutrophil count, reticulocyte count, hemoglobin) and transfusion requirements at 6 months. [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Secondary endpoints include response at 3 months, durablity of response, disease progression, survival and the response to a second course of therapy when indicated. [ Time Frame: 3 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 11
Study Start Date: September 2005
Study Completion Date: June 2010
Primary Completion Date: June 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Intervention Details:
    Drug: Rituximab (Rituxan)
Detailed Description:

Many bone marrow failure syndromes in humans result from an immune destruction of single or multiple hematopoietic cell lines. These diseases include aplastic anemia, pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) and Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA). Immunosuppression has significantly improved the survival of severe aplastic anemia (SAA) patients. However, the management of moderate aplastic anemia (MAA) remains controversial, given its better prognosis as well as the toxicity and inconvenience of long term immunosuppressants like antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and cyclosporine (CsA). Similarly PRCA and DBA frequently respond to steroids but prolonged or repetitive courses may be needed with significant long term toxicity. There are no studies describing the natural history of MAA in adults. Based on studies in children where 2/3 of patients progress to SAA, we have taken a proactive approach to study activity of milder and less toxic immunosuppressants. During the last several years we introduced daclizumab in the treatment of MAA with a response rate of 38%.

Rituximab (Rituxan(Registered Trademark)) is a chimeric murine/human monoclonal antibody, directed against CD20. CD20 is expressed on pre-B lymphocytes as well as on resting and activated mature B lymphocytes. Rituximab leads to rapid and sustained depletion of both normal and malignant B-cells. Its safety profile is well defined, as it has been given to more than 300,000 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rituximab (Rituxan(Registered Trademark)) has proven beneficial as a therapy for a variety of autoimmune diseases including autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, PRCA, acquired factor VIII and factor IX inhibitors, chronic refractory graft-versus-host disease, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

To investigate whether rituximab (Rituxan(Registered Trademark)) has activity in patients with bone marrow failure syndromes, we propose this non-randomized, off label, Phase II study in MAA, PRCA, or DBA. Subjects will be treated with 375 mg/m2 of rituximab (Rituxan(Registered Trademark)), infused intravenously once every week for a total of 4 doses. Patients who respond and relapse may receive a second cycle of drug per PI discretion. Subjects with suboptimal response may receive a second cycle of drug at the 6 month time point.

Subjects will be evaluated for the efficacy and safety of this monoclonal antibody on their disease. Primary endpoints will be changes in peripheral blood counts (platelets, absolute neutrophil count, reticulocyte count, hemoglobin) and transfusion requirements at 6 months. Secondary endpoints include response at 3 months, durability of response, disease progression, survival and the response to a second course of therapy when indicated.


Ages Eligible for Study:   2 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Diagnosis of acquired moderate aplastic anemia defined as aplastic anemia (hypocellular bone marrow) and no evidence for an underlying disease process and depression of at least two out of three blood counts below these values:

  • ANC equal to or less than l200/mm(3)
  • platelet count equal to or less than 70,000/mm(3)
  • anemia with hemoglobin equal to or less than 8.5 g/dl or absolute reticulocyte count equal to or less than 60,000/mm(3) in transfusion-dependent patients but not fulfilling the criteria for severe disease defined by bone marrow cellularity less than 30% (excluding lymphocytes) and depression of at least two of the three peripheral counts:
  • ANC equal to or less than 500/ul
  • platelet count equal to or less than 20,000/ul
  • reticulocyte count less than 60,000/ul


Diagnosis of pure red cell aplasia or Diamond Blackfan anemia requiring RBC transfusions

Pure red cell aplasia is defined by

  • anemia,
  • reticulocytopenia (reticulocyte count equal to or less than 50,000/ mm(3))
  • and absent or decreased marrow erythroid precursors

Diamond Blackfan anemia is defined by

  • anemia,
  • reticulocytopenia (reticulocyte count equal to or less than 50,000/ mm(3))
  • and absent or decreased marrow erythroid precursors diagnosed at an early age

Because this population is prone to dry bone marrow aspirates, subjects from whom sufficient bone marrow cannot be collected for the evaluation of cellularity will not be excluded provided they meet all other inclusion criteria based on peripheral blood counts.

Pure Red cell Aplasia and Diamond Blackfan patients must be age greater than or equal to 2 years old and weight greater than 12 kg; Moderate Aplastic anemia patients must be age greater than or equal to 18.

Refractory to at least 1 course of immunosuppressive therapy or relapsed disease after prior immunosuppressive therapy (PRCA/DBA patients only).

Patients or their parent(s)/responsible guardian(s) must be able to comprehend and be willing to sign an informed consent.


Current diagnosis of Fanconi's anemia or other congenital bone marrow failure syndromes except for DBA

History of a cytogenetic abnormality indicating myelodysplasia (MDS)

Active infection not adequately responding to appropriate therapy

HIV positivity

Positive antiHBc or HBsAG

History of clinically significant arrhythmia

Known anaphylaxis or IgE mediated hypersensitivity to murine proteins or to any component of this product.

Moribund status or concurrent hepatic, renal, cardiac, neurologic, pulmonary, infectious, or metabolic disease of such severity that it would preclude the patient's ability to tolerate protocol therapy, or that death within the next month is likely

Potential subjects with cancer who are on active chemotherapeutic treatment or who take drugs with hematological effects will not be eligible.

History of recent or ongoing B19 parvovirus infection

Psychiatric, affective, or other disorder that may compromise the ability to give informed consent or to cooperate in a research study.

Pregnancy or lactation or unwillingness to take contraceptives

Participation in any other investigational drug trial or exposure to other investigational agents (other than hematopoietic growth factors) within 30 days of study entry. Use of low dose immunosuppressive agents may continue at the PIs discretion provided that the patient has been taking this drug for at least 3 months.

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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00229619

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
  More Information

Responsible Party: Adrian U. Wiestner, M.D./National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health Identifier: NCT00229619     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 050244, 05-H-0244
Study First Received: September 29, 2005
Last Updated: November 3, 2010
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Moderate Aplastic Anemia
Diamond-Blackfan Anemia
Bone Marrow Failure
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy
T -Cells
Pure Red Cell Aplasia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anemia, Aplastic
Anemia, Diamond-Blackfan
Anemia, Hypoplastic, Congenital
Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure
Hematologic Diseases
Bone Marrow Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Pharmacologic Actions
Antirheumatic Agents
Therapeutic Uses
Antineoplastic Agents processed this record on July 22, 2014