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Rituximab in the Treatment of Patients With Bullous Pemphigoid

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00286325
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 3, 2006
Results First Posted : October 22, 2012
Last Update Posted : April 11, 2013
Genentech, Inc.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Duke University

Brief Summary:
This study will determine the safety of treatment of bullous pemphigoid in patients resistant to therapy with systemic corticosteroids, with rituximab plus systemic corticosteroids.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Bullous Pemphigoid Drug: Rituximab Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune blistering disease characterized clinically by the presence of severely itchy, tense blisters located over the trunk and extremities. BP is the most common of the autoimmune blistering diseases with an incidence of approximately 10 per 1,000,000 population(1;2). In addition, BP occurs more frequently in the elderly. Routine histopathology reveals a sub-epidermal blister most often with large numbers of eosinophils. Direct immunofluorescence of the skin of patients with BP reveals a linear band of C3 and IgG at the basement membrane zone. Examination of the sera of patients shows the presence of a circulating anti-basement membrane zone autoantibody. This antibody has been found to be directed against a 180 kd protein of the basement membrane zone type XVII collagen (BPAg2) and against a 230 kd protein (BPAg1) found in the epidermal hemi-desmosome(3;4).

BP is a severe disease most often requiring therapy with high dose systemic corticosteroids (0.75 - 1.0 mg/kg/day) often for months(5). In addition, relapses are common and the additional use of immunosuppressive drugs such as azathioprine, methotrexate, cyclosporine A and others are needed to minimize the dose of systemic corticosteroids. The 1-year mortality of BP has been estimated to range from 10 - 30%(1;6). Currently treatment of patients with BP consists of initial use of systemic corticosteroids (0.75 - 1.0 mg/kg/day). Control of symptoms and new blister formation is most often achieved within 1 month and systemic corticosteroids are then tapered. As many as 33 - 50% of patients may not be able to be tapered to clinically acceptable levels of systemic corticosteroids, requiring the addition of systemic immunosuppression often with azathioprine. Approximately 66% of patients require long term treatment with immunosuppressive medication to maintain control of their blistering.(5;7;8) The need for long term systemic corticosteroid therapy often with systemic immunosuppression in an elderly population results in a significant morbidity and mortality in patients with BP. New therapeutic interventions that would potentially allow for the more rapid discontinuation of prednisone, avoidance of systemic immuno- suppression and perhaps earlier clinical relapse would be of substantial benefit to patients with BP. The clinical and laboratory data has demonstrated that BP is an autoantibody mediated blistering disease. Taken together these observations suggest that the use of anti-CD20 antibody (Rituxan) may be useful in the treatment of patients with BP. We have previously treated a patient with BP and graft versus host disease with anti-CD20 and anti-CD25 and were able to achieve clinical and serological remission within 4 weeks of initiation of therapy(9). In addition, others and we have successfully utilized Rituxan for the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris, another autoantibody mediated, autoimmune blistering disease(10-15)

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 8 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Rituximab in the Treatment of Patients With Bullous Pemphigoid
Study Start Date : March 2005
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Pemphigus
Drug Information available for: Rituximab

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Treatment Rituximab
Open label study all subjects treated with rituximab
Drug: Rituximab
Infusion of 1000 mg of rituximab on day 0 and day 14
Other Name: rituxan

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Primary Safety Endpoint [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
    The primary safety endpoint is the occurrence of treatment emergent adverse events including infections, infusion reactions and disease progression. These were determined by clinical evaluation and laboratory questions. Disease progression is defined as development of new blisters despite therapy. These are reported as the number of participants with a study related SAE.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of Days to Cessation of New Blister [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
    The first study visit in which patient reported and was confirmed to have no new blister or lesion formation .

  2. Systemic Corticosteroid Dose of 25% of Starting Dose or 10 mg/Day by Week 24 [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    Subject systemic corticosteroid dosage at week 24 was 25% of starting dose or 10 mg/day of prednisone or less

  3. IgG Anti Bullous Pemphigoid (BP) 180 Measured in Units by ELISA at Week 24. [ Time Frame: Week 0 and at 24 weeks ]
    IgG antibodies against BP 180 measured in units (by ELISA) for each participant at week 0 compared to value at week 24,

  4. B Cell Number at Week 24 [ Time Frame: Week 0 and at 24 weeks ]
    Peripheral blood B cell number at week 24 compared to B cell number at week 0

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with autoimmune blistering skin diseases with clinical, histologic and immunological criteria confirming the diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid
  • Ongoing disease activity on 17.5 mg/day of prednisone or more

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current use of other immunosuppressive therapy such as azathioprine, cytoxan or mycophenolate mofetil within the last 4 weeks.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00286325

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United States, North Carolina
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27710
Sponsors and Collaborators
Duke University
Genentech, Inc.
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Principal Investigator: Russell Hall, III, MD Duke University

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Responsible Party: Duke University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00286325    
Other Study ID Numbers: Pro00013763
First Posted: February 3, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: October 22, 2012
Last Update Posted: April 11, 2013
Last Verified: September 2012
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Pemphigoid, Bullous
Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous
Skin Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antirheumatic Agents