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Phase II Study of Arginine Butyrate With or Without Epoetin Alfa in Patients With Thalassemia Intermedia

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) Identifier:
First received: August 3, 2000
Last updated: November 4, 2005
Last verified: July 2004

OBJECTIVES: I. Determine whether arginine butyrate with or without epoetin alfa can stimulate gamma-globin chain production to a degree that decreases anemia and results in hematologic improvement in patients with thalassemia intermedia.

II. Determine whether a proportional increase in gamma-globin synthesis and mRNA and an improvement in nonalfa and alfaglobin chain imbalance by at least 10% over baseline correlate with improved hematologic response in these patients when treated with this regimen.

III. Determine whether a decrease in hemolysis, as assayed by a decrease in LDH, compared to baseline levels correlates with improved hematologic response in these patients when treated with this regimen.

IV. Determine whether any particular genotypes are more responsive than others to this therapy in these patients.

V. Determine whether baseline epoetin alfa levels, gender, and/or baseline reticulocyte counts (or percent circulating nucleated erythroblasts) correlate with improved hematologic response in these patients when treated with this regimen.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: arginine butyrate
Drug: epoetin alfa
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Office of Rare Diseases (ORD):

Estimated Enrollment: 15
Study Start Date: March 1999
Detailed Description:

PROTOCOL OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study. Patients receive arginine butyrate IV over 6-14 hours on days 1-5 of weeks 1-4 and 7-10. Patients then receive maintenance arginine butyrate IV over 6-14 hours on days 1-4 of weeks 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 25.

Patients who have no medical contraindications (e.g., paraspinal extramedullary hematopoiesis, hypertension, or poorly controlled congestive heart failure) may continue therapy. Patients receive arginine butyrate IV over 6-14 hours on days 1-4 of weeks 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, and 39 and epoetin alfa intramuscularly (IM) or subcutaneously (SC) three times weekly on weeks 27-40.

Patients may continue to receive epoetin alfa IM or SC alone three times weekly on weeks 41-52. Patients with severe anemia (hemoglobin less than 7 g/dL) may receive epoetin alfa alone on weeks 1-12 before arginine butyrate induction therapy.

Patients who complete therapy at week 26 are followed every 2 weeks for 2 months. Patients who complete therapy at week 40 are followed monthly for 2 months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


--Disease Characteristics--

  • Diagnosis of thalassemia intermedia with hemoglobin no greater than 10 g/dL Two beta thalassemia mutations
  • Must have undergone prior splenectomy or have no palpable spleen

--Prior/Concurrent Therapy--

  • At least 3 months since prior red blood cell transfusion

--Patient Characteristics--

  • Performance status: SWOG 0-2
  • Hematopoietic: No severe iron overload or ferritin greater than 5,000 ng/mL
  • Hepatic: Normal hepatic function No active hepatitis
  • Renal: Normal renal function
  • Other: Not pregnant or nursing Negative pregnancy test Fertile patients must use effective contraception Must be willing to have vascular access placed No viral disease No contraindication to study compliance
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00006136

United States, California
Children's Hospital of Oakland
Oakland, California, United States, 94609
United States, Connecticut
Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center
New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06520-8028
United States, Maryland
Clinical Hematology Branch
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
United States, Massachusetts
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02118
Cancer Research Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02118
United States, New York
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York, New York, United States, 10029
United Kingdom
University College London
London, England, United Kingdom, W1W 7EJ
Sponsors and Collaborators
Boston University
Study Chair: Susan Park Perrine Boston University
  More Information Identifier: NCT00006136     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 199/15337
Study First Received: August 3, 2000
Last Updated: November 4, 2005

Keywords provided by Office of Rare Diseases (ORD):
genetic diseases and dysmorphic syndromes
hematologic disorders
rare disease
thalassemia intermedia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anemia, Hemolytic, Congenital
Anemia, Hemolytic
Hematologic Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Epoetin Alfa
Butyric Acid
Arginine butyrate
Histamine Antagonists
Histamine Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antineoplastic Agents processed this record on April 28, 2017