Rheumatoid Arthritis: Comparison of Active Therapies in Patients With Active Disease Despite Methotrexate Therapy (RACAT)

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigational Network (RAIN)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Department of Veterans Affairs
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00405275
First received: November 29, 2006
Last updated: November 7, 2013
Last verified: November 2013
  Purpose

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints leading to joint destruction, with significant long-term morbidity and mortality. Early treatment of RA patients with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) significantly decreases these complications. Methotrexate (MTX) is an excellent, economical first-line DMARD used to treat a majority of RA patients. While most patients respond well to MTX, many continue to have active disease. Therefore, understanding how to best treat RA patients with active disease despite MTX therapy is critically important. Although a number of therapies with significantly different economic implications have been shown to be effective when added to MTX, no trial has directly compared active therapies. This study will compare therapeutic strategies using two regimens with proven efficacy when added to MTX therapy; a) hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine (cost ~ $1000 per year); b) the tumor necrosis factor inhibitor, etanercept (cost ~ $12,000 per year).

We propose a bi-national multi-center randomized, double-blind equivalency trial comparing (A) the strategy of initially adding hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine to MTX in patients with active disease despite MTX, with a switch at 24 weeks to etanercept in nonresponders to (B) a strategy of adding etanercept to MTX, with a switch to hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine in nonresponders at 24 weeks. If we find that the strategy of first adding hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine to MTX identifies a subset of responsive patients and that there is no harm to nonresponders because of early rescue with etanercept, then this less expensive option should become the standard treatment for MTX resistant patients.

Four hundred and fifty RA patients with active disease despite treatment with MTX as indicated by a Disease Activity Score with 28 joints (DAS28) of >4.4 units will be randomized. A DAS improvement of <1.2 (validated as clinically significant) at 24 weeks will be used to identify early nonresponder who will switch therapy. Subjects with a DAS28 improvement of > 1.2 at 24 weeks will remain on their initial therapy. The primary endpoint is the change of DAS 28 scores from baseline to 48 weeks. The secondary endpoint is comparison of radiographic progression of disease at 48 weeks, as measured by the change in Sharp score. Economic and functional outcomes will be assessed and a serum and DNA bank will be established to evaluate potential biomarkers predictive of treatment response/toxicity and disease progression. This trial will recruit 450 subjects over 40 months. At the end of the 48 week blinded active therapy portion of the trial, the blind will be broken and data will be collected in an open fashion until all 450 patients have completed the 48 week portion of the trial.


Condition Intervention
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Drug: Etanercept
Drug: methotrexate
Drug: Sulfasalazine
Drug: Hydroxychloroquine
Drug: Placebo, triple
Drug: Placebo, etanercept

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: CSP #551 - Rheumatoid Arthritis: Comparison of Active Therapies in Patients With Active Disease Despite Methotrexate Therapy

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Mean 48-week Change in DAS28 [ Time Frame: 48 weeks after baseline assessment ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

    Average difference between 48-week and Baseline DAS28.

    The Disease Activity Score for 28 Joints (DAS28) is a well-validated composite outcome measure ranging from 2-10 (higher scores indicating more disease) that incorporates a tender and swollen joint count of 28 joints, a laboratory measure of systemic inflammation (ESR) and a patient-reported general assessment of health on a visual analog scale (ranging from 0-10cm) all into one measure.

    Low disease activity is defined as DAS28 ≤ 3.2 units.



Enrollment: 353
Study Start Date: July 2007
Study Completion Date: May 2012
Primary Completion Date: December 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Arm 1
Etanercept and Methotrexate. Participants also received placebo hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine
Drug: Etanercept
etanercept, subcutaneous injection
Other Name: Enbrel
Drug: methotrexate
baseline methotrexate is maintained throughout the study and is not provided by the sponsor
Drug: Placebo, triple
Participants in Etanercept arm (Arm 1) were given placebo hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine pills.
Active Comparator: Arm 2
Hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine and methotrexate. Participants also received placebo etanercept.
Drug: methotrexate
baseline methotrexate is maintained throughout the study and is not provided by the sponsor
Drug: Sulfasalazine
sulfasalazine, oral
Drug: Hydroxychloroquine
hydroxychloroquine, oral
Other Name: Plaquenil
Drug: Placebo, etanercept
Participants in triple arm (Arm 2) were given placebo etanercept injections.

Detailed Description:

The main objective of this proposal is to compare two successful treatment strategies that have significantly different economic implications head-to-head in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have active disease despite methotrexate therapy.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints leading to joint destruction, with significant long-term morbidity and mortality. Early treatment of RA patients with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) significantly decreases these complications. Methotrexate (MTX) is an excellent, economical first-line DMARD used to treat a majority of RA patients. While most patients respond well to MTX, many continue to have active disease. Therefore, understanding how to best treat RA patients with active disease despite MTX therapy is critically important. Although a number of therapies with significantly different economic implications have been shown to be effective when added to MTX, no trial has directly compared active therapies. This study will compare therapeutic strategies using two regimens with proven efficacy when added to MTX therapy; a) hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine (cost ~ $1000 per year); b) the tumor necrosis factor inhibitor, etanercept (cost ~ $12,000 per year).

We propose a bi-national multi-center randomized, double-blind equivalency trial comparing (A) the strategy of initially adding hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine to MTX in patients with active disease despite MTX, with a switch at 24 weeks to etanercept in nonresponders to (B) a strategy of adding etanercept to MTX, with a switch to hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine in nonresponders at 24 weeks. If we find that the strategy of first adding hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine to MTX identifies a subset of responsive patients and that there is no harm to nonresponders because of early rescue with etanercept, then this less expensive option should become the standard treatment for MTX resistant patients.

Four hundred and fifty RA patients with active disease despite treatment with MTX as indicated by a Disease Activity Score with 28 joints (DAS28) of greater than or equal to 4.4 units will be randomized. A DAS improvement of greater than or equal to 1.2 (validated as clinically significant) at 24 weeks will be used to identify early nonresponder who will switch therapy. Subjects with a DAS28 improvement of ≥ 1.2 at 24 weeks will remain on their initial therapy. The primary endpoint is the change of DAS 28 scores from baseline to 48 weeks. The secondary endpoint is comparison of radiographic progression of disease at 48 weeks, as measured by the change in Sharp score. Economic and functional outcomes will be assessed and a serum and DNA bank will be established to evaluate potential biomarkers predictive of treatment response/toxicity and disease progression. This trial will recruit 450 subjects over 40 months. At the end of the 48 week blinded active therapy portion of the trial, the blind will be broken and data will be collected in an open fashion until all 450 patients have completed the 48 week portion of the trial.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All patients must fulfill ACR classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • All patients must have been 16 years of age or older at time of diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • All patients must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry into the study.
  • All patients will have been receiving oral or subcutaneous methotrexate 15 to 25 mg/week (unless intolerant and on a minimum 10 mg/week) at a constant dose for at least 4 weeks, and on any methotrexate for no less than 12 weeks.
  • All patients will have active disease as defined by a DAS28 of greater than or equal to 4.4.
  • If patients are receiving corticosteroids, they must have been on stable dose (less than or equal to 10 mg prednisone or equivalent) for at least two weeks prior to screening.
  • If patients are using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), they must be on stable doses for at least one week prior to screening.
  • If patients have taken leflunomide, cyclosporine, gold, Anakinra, azathioprine, or penicillamine in combination with methotrexate, they must have stopped this therapy at least 8 weeks prior to randomization.
  • Laboratory tests must meet the following criteria within 2 weeks of randomization:

    • Serum creatinine 1.8 mg/dL
    • Hemoglobin 9 g/dL
    • WBC 3000 mc/L
    • Neutrophils 1000 mc/L
    • Platelets 100,000 mc/L
    • Serum transaminase level (AST or ALT, whichever is followed at the site) not exceeding 1.2 times upper limit of normal.
    • Albumin no less than 1.0 g/dL (10 g/L) below lower limit of normal. Anything below lower limit of normal must have been stable (or improving) for no less than 90 days. Stable is defined as changes of no more than 0.2 g/dL (2 g/L).
  • All patients must be capable of giving informed consent and able to adhere to study visit schedule.
  • Subject or designee must have the ability to self-inject investigational product or have a caregiver who can inject subcutaneous injections
  • Subjects must meet one of the following criteria with regard to tuberculosis. PPD must be within 180 days of randomization if the patient has no recent exposure/travel history, or within 90 days if the patient has a recent exposure/travel history.

    • Negative PPD; or
    • Positive PPD <5 mm, with a negative chest x-ray; or
    • Positive PPD >5mm, treated for at least 28 days with INH.
  • Subjects with an Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) of less than or equal to 10 and a tender and swollen joint count of at least 10 and does not qualify for the study using the DAS28, will be allowed to use the DAS28-CRP rather than the traditional DAS28 to determine eligibility.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Previous intolerance to methotrexate (unless able to tolerate at least 10 mg/week)
  • Sensitivity to study medications
  • Previous treatment with methotrexate, sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine in combination with each other for longer than 4 weeks duration. No combination use is allowed within 4 weeks of screening.
  • No bed or wheelchair-bound patients
  • Previous treatment with a TNF- inhibitor (etanercept, infliximab or adalimumab) for more than 5 weeks of therapy. Previous treatment with TNF- inhibitor must have been stopped for reasons other than toxicity or efficacy. No TNF- inhibitor therapy is allowed within the following time frames:

    • Last dose of etanercept must have been at least 4 weeks before screening.
    • Last dose of adalimumab or infliximab must have been at least 8 weeks prior to screening.

Example of an eligible patient: A patient found he could not afford the co-pays for a TNF inhibitor after two doses and stopped taking the medication two months before being evaluated for this trial.

  • Evidence of important acute or chronic infections (no IV antibiotics within 1 month, and no PO antibiotics within 2 weeks)
  • Pregnant or nursing women
  • Women of childbearing potential or their partners who are not practicing an acceptable form of birth control as defined by investigator
  • Active substance abuse or psychiatric illness likely to interfere with protocol completion
  • History of multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, or optic neuritis
  • History of macular degeneration unless patient has letter from their ophthalmologist that will allow for participation in trial
  • New York Heart Association Class III or IV congestive heart failure
  • Active malignancy (other than in situ cervical cancer or non-melanoma skin cancer), or history of lymphoma
  • History of HIV
  • History of any opportunistic infection - to include but not limited to Pneumocystis carinii, aspergillosis, histoplasmosis, or atypical mycobacterium
  • History of porphyria
  • Diagnosis of SLE or seronegative spondyloarthropathy or any other form of concomitant arthritis (osteoarthritis is permitted)
  • Diagnosis of psoriasis unless rheumatoid factor positive
  • Any significant unstable medical condition considered a contraindication by investigator
  • Any participation in another investigational drug study during the 90 days preceding randomization.
  • Receipt of a live vaccine within 90 days of study entry.
  • History of oral or IV cyclophosphamide use
  • Life expectancy less than 2 years
  • Receipt of steroid injection, intravenous, intramuscular, or intraarticular, within 30 days of randomization.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00405275

  Show 37 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigational Network (RAIN)
Investigators
Study Chair: James R. O'Dell VA Medical Center, Omaha
  More Information

Publications:
Responsible Party: Department of Veterans Affairs
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00405275     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 551, Y1-AR-0048-01
Study First Received: November 29, 2006
Results First Received: June 5, 2013
Last Updated: November 7, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government
United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:
antineoplastic
antiparasitics
antirheumatics
chronic diseases
clinical trial
connective tissue
double-blind
drug treatment
gastric medications
joint
multi-site trial
musculoskeletal
randomized
rheumatoid arthritis

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Arthritis
Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Joint Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases
Connective Tissue Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Hydroxychloroquine
Methotrexate
TNFR-Fc fusion protein
Sulfasalazine
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Pharmacologic Actions
Antirheumatic Agents
Therapeutic Uses
Antimalarials
Antiprotozoal Agents
Antiparasitic Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
Abortifacient Agents
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Antimetabolites
Antineoplastic Agents
Dermatologic Agents
Folic Acid Antagonists

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on July 22, 2014