Pilot-Study of Thalidomide in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Neuroinflammation has recently emerged as a significant contributor to motor neuron damage. ALS tissue is characterized by inflammatory changes that are observed in both sporadic and familial ALS and in the ALS superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) transgenic mouse model. They include an accumulation of large numbers of activated microglia and astrocytes.
Proinflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-), are robustly upregulated in ALS. The receptor for tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-R1) is elevated at late presymptomatic as well as symptomatic phases of disease. TNF acts as a principal driver for neuroinflammation in ALS, while several co-stimulating cytokines and chemokines act to potentiate the TNF effects [4-6].
We propose an investigational therapy of ALS with oral administration of thalidomide. The rationale for this study is based on the anti-inflammatory properties of thalidomide through the modulation of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF. The primary aim of the trial is to determine whether treatment with thalidomide is safe and well tolerated in conjunction with riluzole and whether patients with ALS can tolerate daily doses of up to 400 mg. The trial is designed as feasibility study in planning for a larger phase IIb/III trial of efficacy.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Randomized, Open, Parallel Group Study for the Evaluation of an Oral Dose of 100 mg Thalidomide and Subsequent Dose Escalation of 400 mg Thalidomide in Combination With Riluzole in Patients With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)|
- to evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of thalidomide
- to compare the total number of adverse events (AE), abnormal laboratory tests, and number of patients who completed the study between groups
- to evaluate the clinical effect of two oral doses of the thalidomide on the rate of functional decline in ALS patients measured by the ALS Functional Rating Scale-revised (ALS-FRS-R) over a 24 week treatment period
- to investigate the effects of thalidomide on pulmonary function (forced vital capacity) over a 24 week treatment period
- to evaluate the sleep quality and somnolence using the Epworth Sleeping Scale: ESS ≥ 18
- to evaluate the frequency and severity of sensory neuropathy using the inflammatory neuropathy cause and treatment sensory sum score – ISS ≥ 4
- to evaluate the frequency of thrombotic events
- to determine the number of patients who require continuous non-invasive ventilation or invasive ventilation
- to determine the number of patients who require percutanous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)
- to evaluate the survival time or the time point until invasive ventilation is started
|Study Start Date:||December 2005|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||August 2006|
Study drug will be provided as 50 mg tablets. Patients will be instructed to take 2 tablets orally once a day during the evening at least 60 minutes after a meal. Thalidomide will be administered starting at 100 mg (Group 1) for 6 weeks. Thereafter, the dose will be increased every week by 50mg until reaching the dose of 400 mg/day. This treatment is continued for 12 weeks. Thalidomide is administered in conjunction with the standard treatment of riluzole (100mg/day).
|Charite University Hospital, Berlin, Germany|
|Berlin, Germany, 13353|
|Study Chair:||Thomas Meyer, MD||Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany|