Lymphocyte Depletion and Stem Cell Transplantation to Treat Severe Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
This study will examine a new approach to treating patient with severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that involves collecting stem cells (cells produced by the bone marrow that develop into blood cells) from the patient, completely shutting down the patient's immune system, and then giving back the patient's stem cells. SLE is a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the immune system that can affect many organs. It is called an autoimmune disease because the patient's lymphocytes (white blood cells that normally protect against invading organisms), go out of control and attack the body's own tissues.
Patients between 15 and 40 years of age with severe SLE affecting a major organ that is resistant to standard treatment may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a medical history and physical examination, blood and urine tests, skin tuberculin test, and radiology studies to evaluate the extent of disease. They have endocrinology, nutrition, dental, and social work consultations, ultrasound or MUGA scan heart imaging, electrocardiogram and lung function tests, bone marrow biopsy, and lymph node aspirate. Depending on which organs are affected, patients may have additional tests, such as lumbar puncture (spinal tap), kidney or lung biopsy, MRI of the brain and spinal cord, and PET scan. They also complete quality of life questionnaires and have disability functional testing and neurocognitive (thinking) assessments.
Participants have a central venous line (plastic tube) inserted into a neck or chest vein for administering stem cells and medicines and for drawing blood. They undergo seven apheresis procedures during the course of the study to collect stem cells for transplant and for research. For apheresis, whole blood is collected through a needle in an arm vein and directed to a cell-separating machine where the white cells are extracted and the rest of the blood is returned to the patient through the same needle.
Patients are primed with three medications (methylprednisolone, rituximab, and cyclophosphamide) through the central line to help control the disease. In addition, a medication called G-CSF is injected under the skin for several days to boost production of stem cells. After enough stem cells have been collected for transplantation (infusion through the central line), patients are admitted to the hospital for an 8-day conditioning regimen followed by transplantation. The conditioning treatment consists of rituximab, fludarabine, and cyclophosphamide to eliminate all the white blood cells from the blood and bone marrow. The stem cells are then infused and the patient is closely monitored by a team of physicians and nurses. When the stem cells have engrafted, the bone marrow has recovered, and the patient feels well enough - usually 2 to 3 weeks after transplant - the patient is discharged from the hospital. Prednisone tapering begins as soon as feasibly possible, but no later then 28 days after transplant.
Patients return to the NIH Clinical Center for frequent follow-up visits during the first 2 to 3 months following transplant. The time between visits is then extended to once every 3 months the first year, then every 6 months the second year, and then at least yearly for 5 years after the transplant. These visits include a physical examination, blood and urine tests, lumbar puncture (if there is central nervous system involvement), other appropriate biopsies and tests as needed to monitor the patient's health, short apheresis procedures to collect blood for research purposes, and quality of life questionnaires. Some select procedures will be optional. Bone marrow biopsies and lymph node aspirates are done at beginning and at 6, 12, and 24 months after transplant. PET scans are done at 1, 6, 12, and 24 months.
Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
Drug: fludarabine phosphate
Biological: Rituxan (rituximab)
Other: immunologic technique
Other: laboratory biomarker analysis
Procedure: autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
|Study Design:||Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||A Pilot Study of Intensified Lymphodepletion Followed by Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients With Severe Systemic Lupus Erythematosus|
- Continuous relapse-free complete clinical response at 24 months post-transplantation. [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Toxicity [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
- Time to flare-free complete response [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Time to complete clinical response [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Time to partial response [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Time to relapse [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- improvement in general disease activity measured by Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Time to normalization of dsDNA and complement levels [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Pain scale and quality of life [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Functional assessment by HAQ score, neurocognitive testing, and depression scale. [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||January 2004|
|Study Completion Date:||October 2013|
|Primary Completion Date:||October 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Drug: fludarabine phosphate
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease that can involve almost any organ and can range in severity from mild to life-threatening. In spite of significant improvements in survival of SLE patients over last 20 years, a small but significant portion of patients still develop progressive therapy-refractory disease that impairs organ function and overall survival.
- Since 1996, more than 500 patients have been treated worldwide in pilot trials of
autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (autoHSCT) for autoimmune diseases, including about 80 patients with SLE.
-The rationale for autoHSCT in autoimmune disease is to ablate autoreactive immune effectors and allow reconstitution of a new self-tolerant immune system from the
hematopoietic stem cell. Studies have demonstrated acceptable safety and promising short term efficacy of high-dose cyclophosphamide-based (200 mg/kg) autoHSCT for about 60% of patients with advanced refractory SLE and reacquisition of sensitivity to conventional drugs have been demonstrated in many cases. However, these trials were designed to address the primary endpoint of safety and were inadequate for assessing the disease response.
-Numerous questions about the true efficacy of autoHSCT, optimal transplant regimen, patient selection and mechanisms of action remain unaddressed.
- The primary objective is to assess the rate of continuous relapse-free complete clinical responses at 24 months post-transplant, with statistical power of 84% to detect, if greater than 70 percent of patients meet the primary endpoint.
- The long-term goal of this research is to develop a basis for future transplant protocols that would incorporate new cellular or other immunotherapeutic interventions to further improve results of transplants with the ultimate goal to cure SLE.
-Subjects age 15-40 years who fulfill at least 4 of the 11 criteria for SLE as defined by the
American College of Rheumatology
-Have severe and active lupus, refractory to immunosuppressive therapy. Included are subjects with nephritis, CNS lupus, pulmonary lupus or hematologic disease
- Fourteen patients with active and standard dose cyclophosphamide-resistant SLE will be enrolled on this phase II pilot study.
- Study design is intended to improve the efficacy of autoHSCT. A lymphoablative conditioning regimen (rituximab, fludarabine and cyclophosphamide) is explored for the first time in autoimmune disease.
- The treatment schedule consists of two parts; the priming regimen prior to stem cell mobilization and collection, and the conditioning regimen with transplant.
- In contrast to other studies, this study has precisely defined eligibility and disease response criteria with strict schema of tapering immunosuppression that should allow accurate interpretation of the treatment results.
- The study includes a carefully chosen battery of laboratory research studies designed to investigate SLE biology and mechanisms of post-transplant responses.
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|
|Principal Investigator:||Steven Z Pavletic, M.D.||National Cancer Institute (NCI)|