Try the modernized beta website. Learn more about the modernization effort.
Working… Menu

Imatinib Mesylate to Treat Skin Changes in Patients With Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00702689
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 20, 2008
Results First Posted : November 19, 2012
Last Update Posted : March 30, 2020
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Edward Cowen, M.D., National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Brief Summary:


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a common complication of stem cell transplant, resulting from the donor's immune cells attacking the cells of the body of the recipient. One effect of GVHD is fibrosis (scarring) of the skin that can lead to impaired function, decreased quality of life and increased risk of death. This is known as sclerotic skin changes of GVHD, or sclerodermatous graft versus host disease (ScGVHD).

Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cancer in humans and fibrosing conditions in animals.


To see if imatinib mesylate can improve ScGVHD and evaluate its effect on other GVHD symptoms

To assess the side effects of imatinib mesylate in patients with GVHD

To evaluate blood, body fluids and tissue samples in patients to try to better understand the biology of ScGVHD


Patients 4 years of age and older with ScGVHD


Initial treatment: Participants take imatinib mesylate tablets once a day for up to 6 months, as long as their GVHD does not get worse and they do not develop unacceptable side effects of the drug.

Evaluations: Participants are evaluated at 1, 3 and 6 months at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center with procedures that may include the following:

Medical history and physical examination

Blood and urine tests

Lung function test

Skin biopsy

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

Specialty consultations (e.g., physical or rehabilitative therapy, dentist, eye doctor, dermatologist)

Electrocardiogram (EKG)

Echocardiogram (ultrasound test of the heart)

Muga scan (nuclear medicine test of the heart)

Quality-of-life questionnaires

Apheresis (procedure for collecting quantities of white blood cells)

Office visits with local physician once a week for 1 month, then once every 2 weeks for 5 months

Followup visits at National Institutes of Health (NIH) every 6 months for 1 year

Continuing treatment: Patients who improve continue to receive imatinib mesylate for up to 6 months after their best response and are followed for up to 2 years. Patients who continue to respond or who become worse after stopping treatment may receive additional treatment for up to 2 years.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Sclerotic Graft Versus Host Disease Imatinib Mesylate Drug: Gleevec, STI571(Imatinib Mesylate) Phase 2

Show Show detailed description

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase II Study of Imatinib Mesylate in Children and Adults With Sclerotic Skin Changes of Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Actual Study Start Date : December 15, 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 18, 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : February 26, 2020

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Imatinib mesylate in patients with cGVHD

Cohort 1 - Pts 1-8:Adults: 400mg imatinib mesylate daily; Children: 260mg/m^2 daily (400mg maximum), followed by dose de-escalation for adverse events.

Cohort 2 - Pts 9-20:Adults - 100 mg oral dose daily (increase to 200 mg daily after 28 days if well tolerated). Children - 65 mg/m^2 oral dose daily (increase to 130 mg/m^2 daily after 28 days if well tolerated)

Drug: Gleevec, STI571(Imatinib Mesylate)

Cohort 1 - Pts 1-8:Adults: 400mg imatinib mesylate daily; Children: 260mg/m^2 daily (400mg maximum), followed by dose de-escalation for adverse events.

Cohort 2 - Pts 9-20:Adults - 100 mg oral dose daily (increase to 200 mg daily after 28 days if well tolerated). Children - 65 mg/m^2 oral dose daily (increase to 130 mg/m^2 daily after 28 days if well tolerated)

Other Names:
  • Gleevec
  • ST1571

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Percent Change in Absolute Range of Motion (ROM) From Baseline to 6 Months [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    A change in ROM is 25% or greater from baseline. A partial response required improvement in 25% or more in ROM. Progression required 25% or greater loss of ROM.Patients with negative values in the Table are those who lost ROM. Percent improvement in ROM for 1-3 target joints. For patients with >1 target joint, the average ROM improvement was calculated. The average percentage change in ROM deficit from baseline to 6 months was obtained based on the number of degrees of ROM change (6 months)/total ROM deficit (baseline) at each joint.

  2. Primary Range of Motion (ROM) Response [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Progressive disease is defined as joint ROM: decrease of >25% in composite ROM score on 2 consecutive evaluations at least 2 weeks apart, but not greater than 4 weeks apart or steroid pulse: >1 steroid pulse per 3 month period if administered for sclerotic-type chronic graft versus host disease (ScGVHD). Response is joint ROM: increase of >25% in composite ROM score. Maximal response is a response with no further improvement over 2 sequential 3-month evaluations. Stable disease does not meet the criteria for progression, response, or maximal response.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of Participants With Adverse Events [ Time Frame: Date treatment consent signed to date off study, approximately, 41 months, 27 days ]
    Here is the number of participants with serious and non-serious adverse events assessed by the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE v4.0). A non-serious adverse event is any untoward medical occurrence. A serious adverse event is an adverse event or suspected adverse reaction that results in death, a life-threatening adverse drug experience, hospitalization, disruption of the ability to conduct normal life functions, congenital anomaly/birth defect or important medical events that jeopardize the patient or subject and may require medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the previous outcomes mentioned.

  2. Average Percentage Change in Range of Motion (ROM) Deficit [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    One or more joints were assessed for ROM deficit by a physiatrist with expertise in graft versus host disease and joint ROM.

  3. Total Skin Score at Baseline and 6 Months [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6 Months ]
    Total skin score was graded by the National Institutes of Health Consensus Criteria. Skin score was calculated by dividing the total score by seven domains (skin, eye, oral, joint, gastrointestinal, hepatic, pulmonary) in men and 8 domains in women (previous domains noted plus gynecologic). Total skin score is a percentage of body surface area (BSA) involvement (range 0-100%). It was calculated from the sum of moveable body surface BSA and non-moveable BSA. Higher numbers = greater body surface area affected.

  4. Total Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease (cGVHD) Provider Global Rating Score at Baseline and 6 Months [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6 months ]
    The provider global rating is a physician impression of severity of cGVHD symptoms from a scale of zero (no symptoms) to 10 (most severe GVHD symptoms possible).

  5. Lung Function Score at Baseline and 6 Months [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6 Months ]
    Lung function was graded by the National Institutes of Health Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease organ response criteria. The Lung function score = forced expiratory volume 1 (FEV1) score + carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO) score, with a possible range of 2 (better outcome)-12 (worst outcome). The percent predicted FEV1 and DLCO (adjusted for hematocrit but not alveolar volume) should be converted to a numeric score as follows: >80% =1; 70-79% = 2; 60-69% = 3; 50-59% = 4; 40-49% = 5; <40% = 6.

  6. Change in Immunosuppression [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Change in immunosuppression was defined by an increase or decrease in steroid use form baseline.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   4 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
  • Sclerodermatous graft versus host disease (ScGVHD) manifesting after at least 100 days following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is considered diagnostic for chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) cGVHD Consensus Statement diagnostic criteria.

This diagnosis can be made clinically or by histopathology. The diagnosis must be confirmed by the principal investigator (PI), or lead associate investigator (LAI).

Skin biopsies will be reviewed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Laboratory of Pathology to confirm the diagnosis of ScGVHD.

  • Patients must have measurable limitation in range of motion, defined as ScGVHD with or without fasciitis, restricting range of motion (ROM) of at least one joint with a minimum deficit of 25 percent.
  • Prior therapy: Patients must have cGVHD refractory to at least one treatment regimen for cGVHD.

One prior regimen must have included systemic corticosteroids at the equivalent prednisone dosing of 1mg/kg/day times 14 days.

Patients in whom calcineurin inhibitors or corticosteroids are medically contraindicated may also be eligible for enrollment.

Patients who have had stabilization of disease on calcineurin inhibitors or steroids, but in whom these medications cannot be tapered without disease flare are also eligible.

Patient must be on stable or tapering immunosuppressive regimen for at least one month.

  • Age: 4 years of age or older at the time of enrollment. Lower age limit set by lower established age limit norms of ROM scores for measurement criteria.
  • Life expectancy of greater than 6 months.
  • Karnofsky greater than or equal to 60 percent.
  • Patients must be platelet transfusion and growth factor independent at the time of study entry.

Patients must have adequate organ and marrow function as defined below. Patients with Gilbert syndrome are excluded from the requirement of a normal bilirubin.

(Gilbert syndrome is found in 3-10 percent of the general population, and is characterized by mild, chronic unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in the absence of liver disease or overt hemolysis).

  • absolute neutrophil count greater than or equal to 1,000/mcL
  • platelets greater than or equal to 50,000/mcL
  • total bilirubin less than 3 times upper limit of normal
  • aspartate aminotransferase (AST)serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT)/alanine aminotransferase (ALT)serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) less than 5 times upper limit of normal
  • creatinine age-adjusted within normal limits


  • creatinine clearance greater than 20mL/min/1.73 m^2 for adults and pediatric patients with body surface area (BSA) greater than 0.97 m^2 with creatinine levels above institutional normals and greater than or equal to 40 mL/min 1.73 m^2 for pediatric patients with BSA less than 0.97 m^2.
  • Age less than 5 years old Maximum Serum Creatinine 0.8 mg/dL
  • Age 5 or less than 10 years old Maximum Serum Creatinine 1.0 mg/dL
  • Age 10 or less than 15 years old Maximum Serum Creatinine 1.2 mg/dL
  • Age 15 years old or greater Maximum Serum Creatinine 1.5 mg/dL
  • Normal cardiac function for age as determined by echocardiogram (ECHO) or multi-gated acquisition scan (MUGA) (normal left ventricular (LV) function as measured by ejection fraction or shortening fraction).
  • The effects of imatinib mesylate on the developing human fetus at the recommended therapeutic dose are unknown.

For this reason, women of child-bearing potential and men must agree to use adequate contraception (hormonal or barrier method of birth control; abstinence) prior to study entry, for the duration of study participation, and for six months following completion of therapy.

Should a woman become pregnant or suspect she is pregnant while participating in this study, she should inform her treating physician immediately.

  • Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document.

All patients or their legal guardian (for patients less than 18 years old) must sign an institutional review board (IRB) approved document of informed consent (chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) natural history or any National Cancer Institute (NCI) protocol allowing for screening procedures) prior to performing studies to determine patient eligibility.

After confirmation of patient eligibility all patients or their legal guardian must sign the protocol-specific informed consent.

Pediatric patients will be included in age appropriate discussions and age appropriate assent will be obtained in accordance with National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines.

  • Durable Power of Attorney (DPA): All patients 18 years of age at the time of enrollment will be offered the opportunity to assign DPA so that another person can make decisions about their medical care if they become incapacitated or cognitively impaired.


  • Patients who have had chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy within 4 weeks (6 weeks for nitrosoureas or mitomycin C) prior to entering the study or those who have not recovered from adverse events due to agents administered more than 4 weeks earlier.
  • Patients may not be receiving any other investigational agents, including extracorporeal photopheresis.

Patients may not have received monoclonal antibody therapy within 6 weeks.

  • Patients with known brain metastases should be excluded from this clinical trial because of their poor prognosis and because they often develop progressive neurologic dysfunction that would confound the evaluation of neurologic and other adverse events.
  • History of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic composition to imatinib mesylate.
  • Patients receiving any of the following medications or substances that are inhibitors or inducers of P450 3A4 are ineligible.

Use of the following medications must be discontinued at least two weeks prior to starting therapy:

  • Alfuzosin
  • Aprepitant
  • Carbamazepine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Eletriptan
  • Erythromycin
  • Pimozide
  • St John's Wort
  • Warfarin
  • A list of medications and substances known or with the potential to interact with the P450 3A4 isoenzyme is provided in Section 8.

Imatinib mesylate is likely to increase the blood level of drugs that are substrates of CYP2C9, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4/5.

Close monitoring is warranted when using agents metabolized by these enzymes. Grapefruit juice should not be consumed while on therapy.

  • Prior treatment with imatinib mesylate or other tyrosine kinase inhibitor after the date of transplant.
  • Uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to, ongoing or active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, pulmonary, hepatic, or other organ dysfunction, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements or compromise the patient's ability to tolerate protocol therapy.
  • Pregnant women are excluded from this study because imatinib mesylate is an agent with the potential for teratogenic or abortifacient effects.

Because there is an unknown but potential risk for adverse events in nursing infants secondary to treatment of the mother with imatinib mesylate, breastfeeding should be discontinued if the mother is treated with imatinib mesylate.

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients on combination antiretroviral therapy are ineligible because of the potential for pharmacokinetic interactions with imatinib mesylate and the possibility of associated severe immunosuppression.
  • Patients with active hepatitis C or hepatitis B infection as defined by seropositivity for hepatitis C or hepatitis B (HepBSAg) and elevated transaminases, as GVHD manifestations involving the liver will be indistinguishable and drug-toxicity uninterpretable.
  • Persistent malignancy, requiring ongoing therapy.

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 identifier (NCT number): NCT00702689

Layout table for location information
United States, Maryland
National Cancer Institute (NCI), 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Edward W Cowen, M.D. National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Edward Cowen, M.D., National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):
Informed Consent Form  [PDF] January 19, 2012

Additional Information:
Publications of Results:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Edward Cowen, M.D., Principal Investigator, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Identifier: NCT00702689    
Other Study ID Numbers: 080148
First Posted: June 20, 2008    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: November 19, 2012
Last Update Posted: March 30, 2020
Last Verified: March 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Edward Cowen, M.D., National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):
Skin Sclerosis
Graft Versus Host Disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Graft vs Host Disease
Immune System Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Imatinib Mesylate
Antineoplastic Agents
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action