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Etanercept Therapy for Sjogren's Syndrome

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: January 18, 2000
Last updated: March 3, 2008
Last verified: November 2003

This study will test the effectiveness of etanercept (Enbrel) for treating Sjogren's syndrome-an autoimmune disease that affects the secreting glands. (In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body's own tissues.) Reduced lacrimal (tear) gland function causes dry eyes with a scratchy sensation, and, in severe cases, vision be may impaired. Reduced salivary gland function causes dry mouth, resulting in greatly increased tooth decay. Dry mouth also makes chewing and swallowing difficult, which may lead to nutrition deficiencies. Sjogren's syndrome can also cause dryness of the skin and of mucous membranes in the nose, throat, airways, and vagina.

Patients with Sjogren's syndrome who have had oral and eye examinations under NIDCR's protocol 84-D-0056 may participate in this study. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either etanercept or placebo (an inactive look-alike substance) by injection under the skin twice a week for 3 months.

Patients will be seen for evaluation before treatment begins (baseline) and again at 1, 3, and 4 months. The baseline and 3-month visits include a physical examination, eye examination, saliva collection from salivary glands, blood tests, and evaluation for changes in symptoms and treatment side effects. The 1- and 4-month visits include saliva collection, blood tests, and review of symptoms and treatment side effects. In addition, blood will be drawn every 2 weeks for safety monitoring. Patients will also be surveyed weekly (by telephone or during the clinic visit) about symptoms and treatment side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Enbrel for treating certain forms of arthritis, which, like Sjogren's syndrome, are autoimmune disorders of the connective tissue. Laboratory studies also indicate that etanercept may be an effective treatment for Sjogren's syndrome.

Condition Intervention Phase
Sjogren's Syndrome Drug: Etanercept Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Etanercept Therapy for Sjogren's Syndrome

Resource links provided by NLM:

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

Estimated Enrollment: 28
Study Start Date: December 1999
Estimated Study Completion Date: November 2003
Detailed Description:
Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease chiefly affecting the exocrine glands. Manifestations of SS include salivary and lacrimal gland dysfunction. There is no generally accepted treatment for the underlying autoimmune reactivity or the exocrine gland dysfunction in SS. We propose to test the effects of etanercept therapy. In a randomized, double-masked, outpatient protocol, patients will receive etanercept for 2 times/week for 3 months. Therapy will be given by subcutaneous injection. Efficacy of treatment will be assessed by monitoring salivary and lacrimal function, serological markers of autoimmune activity, and subjective reports of local and systemic symptoms. The present trial will serve as a screening protocol to identify if etanercept should be further analyzed in a larger clinical trial for efficacy.

Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


Documented primary or secondary SS.

Absence of confounding health problems.

No contraindications to etanercept therapy.

SS patients cannot have sarcoidosis, HIV infection, or lymphoma.

Patients must have one of the following abnormal autoimmune serologies associated with SS (i.e. positive ANA, RF, and anti-SS-A, or anti-SS-B).

Patients may use pilocarpine provided that they hold their dose on visit days when saliva is collected.

Patients taking DMARD's, such as hydroxychloroquine, must be on a stable dose.

Participants may take NSAIDs or acetaminophen.


Patients must not have physical or mental conditions that may make them unable to comply.

Subjects may continue their other long-term medications with the exception of tricyclic antidepressants and anti-cholinergics, which may affect salivary gland function.

Patients cannot take experimental drugs during the duration of the protocol.

Children will be excluded due to additional risks that may occur with etanercept.

  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 identifier: NCT00001954

United States, Maryland
National Institute of Dental And Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00001954     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 000026
Study First Received: January 18, 2000
Last Updated: March 3, 2008

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Clinical Trial
Disease Activity
Salivary Glands
Sjogren's Syndrome

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Sjogren's Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndromes
Pathologic Processes
Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Joint Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases
Salivary Gland Diseases
Mouth Diseases
Stomatognathic Diseases
Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases
Eye Diseases
Connective Tissue Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Antirheumatic Agents
Gastrointestinal Agents
Immunosuppressive Agents processed this record on September 20, 2017