Steroids and Methotrexate to Treat Systemic Vasculitis
This study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of prednisone and methotrexate in treating severe Wegener's granulomatosis and other systemic vasculitides. These diseases involve inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) that may affect the brain, nerves, eyes, sinuses, lungs, kidneys, intestinal tract, skin, joints, heart and other sites. Current treatment with prednisone and the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide is effective, but has significant side effects and a high rate of disease recurrence. In a small number of patients with vasculitis, prednisone and methotrexate, another anti-cancer drug, have led to marked improvement, with fewer side effects than are seen with cyclophosphamide. This study will evaluate this drug combination in a larger patient population.
Patients 10 to 80 years of age with active Wegener's granulomatosis, polyarteritis nodosa, Churg-Strauss vasculitis, or microscopic polyangiitis overlap may be eligible for this 2 1/2 to 3-year study. In addition, patients with glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disease) and a positive blood test for C-ANCA (antibodies found in certain vasculitic kidney diseases) or inflammatory sinusitis or lung nodule or infiltrates in the absence of infection may also be enrolled.
Participants will take prednisone daily, by mouth, and low-dose methotrexate weekly, by mouth or by injection either under the skin, into a muscle or into a vein. Patients who significantly improve with treatment will gradually reduce, and eventually stop, the prednisone. If the remission lasts, methotrexate will also be reduced and stopped after 2 1/2 years. If active disease recurs, the original treatment program may be started again. Patients who never achieve complete remission with treatment but whose symptoms are well controlled and experience no serious side effects may choose to either continue low-dose methotrexate or stop therapy.
Patients will be hospitalized 4 to 6 times a year, about 2 to 8 days each time, depending on their disease severity and response to illness. In addition, they will have the following tests and procedures:
- Medical history and physical examination (upon admission to the study and then every 1 to 3 months).
- Blood tests for blood cell counts and for levels of enzymes that indicate liver damage (upon admission, then weekly, and finally, no less than monthly).
- Additional blood tests to measure blood chemistries and evaluate kidney function (upon admission and again when clinically indicated).
- Chest X-rays (upon admission and when clinically indicated).
- Computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (as needed).
- Electrocardiogram (upon admission and then as clinically indicated).
- Lung function studies (upon admission and at least every 6 months or as clinically indicated).
- Ear, nose and throat evaluations (as clinically indicated).
- Liver biopsy, if blood tests to monitor liver function are persistently abnormal. This procedure is done in the hospital under sedation to induce relaxation and drowsiness. The skin over the liver (upper right abdomen) is numbed with a local anesthetic and a needle is passed rapidly in and out of the liver to collect a small tissue sample for microscopic examination.
Drug: prednisone and methotrexate
|Study Design:||Primary Purpose: Treatment|
|Official Title:||An Open Trial of the Efficacy of Glucocorticoids and Methotrexate (MTX) in the Treatment of Systemic Vasculitis|
|Study Start Date:||March 1990|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||February 2004|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00001256
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|