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Effectiveness of Topical Thalidomide to Treat Chronic Graft-Versus-Host-Disease Related Stomatitis

This study has been terminated.
(unable to enroll adequate subjects)
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) ) Identifier:
First received: December 30, 2003
Last updated: October 29, 2015
Last verified: October 2015

This study was designed to be conducted in 2 parts. The first part is a pilot study to test the effects of topical thalidomide gel 20mg applied to up to 3 oral ulcers in patients who have developed oral chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD)-related ulcerative stomatitis following allogeneic bone marrow/peripheral blood stem cell transplant (HSCT). Chronic GVHD may be related to increased levels of a cytokine called TNF-alpha (TNFa) following HSCT. Thalidomide's anti-inflammatory effects may lower TNFa levels, lead to healing of these oral ulcers, and decrease oral pain.

If the pilot study is successful, the second part of the study will be done. This will test the effects of a 0.1% (20mg) thalidomide mouthwash in treating oral cGVHD-related stomatitis in patients following allogeneic HSCT. Applying thalidomide directly to the GVHD-related mouth ulcer in gel form or to the entire oral cavity in mouthwash form rather than taking it in pill form may reduce the amount of drug that enters the blood stream and cause less side effects.

In the pilot study, participants will be randomly assigned to receive thalidomide gel 20mg or placebo (identical gel with no thalidomide) to use 4 times a day for 4 weeks. In the mouthwash study, participants will be randomly assigned to receive 0.1% 20mg thalidomide mouthwash or placebo (identical mouth rinse with no thalidomide) to use 4 times a day for 4 weeks. Participants will undergo the following procedures before beginning experimental treatment, then once a week for 4 weeks, and then approximately 8 weeks after the first visit:

  • Interview about current medications and use of alcohol and cigarettes
  • Self-report of mouth and throat pain
  • Oral examination for stomatitis rating, and oral ulcer(s) measurement
  • Quality of life questionnaire (repeated only at week 8 of the study)
  • Mouth photography to measure and record the oral ulcer response to treatment
  • Saliva sampling to look for proinflammatory cytokines (small proteins), including TNFa
  • Oral ulcer exudate collected by filter paper to obtain fluid for measuring TNFa levels
  • Gentle swabbing of oral ulcers to culture for virus, fungus, and bacteria that may be present
  • Small punch biopsy of the area near the ulcer or affected area to check for presence of TNFa (repeated only at week 4 of the study)
  • Blood sampling to monitor TNFa levels
  • A urine pregnancy test for women who are able to have children (repeated at weeks 2, 4, and 8)

Condition Intervention Phase
Graft-versus-Host Disease
Drug: Thalidomide Gel
Drug: Placebo Gel
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Evaluation of Efficacy and Mechanisms of Topical Thalidomide for Chronic Graft-Versus-Host-Disease Related Stomatitis

Resource links provided by NLM:

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

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Mean Percentage Change in Total Surface Area of Oral Ulceration. [ Time Frame: baseline to 4 weeks ]
    Mean percentage change in total surface area of oral ulceration

Enrollment: 10
Study Start Date: December 2003
Study Completion Date: April 2010
Primary Completion Date: April 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Thalidomide gel
Thalidomide gel 20 mg applied topically 4 times daily for 4 weeks to a maximum of 3 target oral ulcers
Drug: Thalidomide Gel
Experimental: Placebo
Placebo gel with no Thalidomide applied topically 4 times daily for 4 weeks to a maximum of 3 target oral ulcers
Drug: Placebo Gel

  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Participating in HSCT or cGVHD protocols and willing to participate in this study concurrently;

Diagnosed with oral cGVHD stomatitis confirmed by surgical biopsy results;

Oral ulceration present

Able to understand and sign protocol informed consent;

Ages 18 to 80 years of age.


Pregnant or lactating females;

For the proof of concept study, females who are not surgically sterilized by means of hysterectomy or tubal ligation;

For the main study, females of childbearing potential who do not agree to the use of two forms of highly effective contraception for at least four weeks prior, during, and for four weeks following the last dose of study drug;

Sexually active males who do not agree to the use of a latex condom while receiving study drug and for four weeks following the last dose of study drug;

Unwilling to follow precautions for use of thalidomide;

Unable to demonstrate appropriate use of study medication;

Concurrent use of non-protocol-related medications confounding assessment of the inflammatory response (antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs);

Allergic reaction to thalidomide;

Pre-existing oral infection, which might maximize the possibility of an infection or sepsis contributing to a drug-related adverse event;

Unwilling or unable to forego concurrent treatment for mucosal lesions and/or related oral pain (including topical steroids, viscous lidocaine, topical anti-fungals);

Requiring addition of new systemic therapy including thalidomide, steroids, or radiation therapy;

Use of sedatives (including CNS depressants);

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) less than 750/mm(3)

  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00075023

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
United States, Washington
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington, United States, 28104
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Principal Investigator: Jane Fall-Dickson, RN, PhD NIH/NINR
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) Identifier: NCT00075023     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 040069
Study First Received: December 30, 2003
Results First Received: October 29, 2015
Last Updated: October 29, 2015

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) ):
Oropharyngeal pain
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant
Oral chronic graft-versus-host disease

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Graft vs Host Disease
Immune System Diseases
Mouth Diseases
Stomatognathic Diseases
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Leprostatic Agents
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Angiogenesis Modulating Agents
Growth Substances
Growth Inhibitors
Antineoplastic Agents processed this record on May 25, 2017