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Biomarkers of Lupus Disease: Serial Biomarker Sampling in Patients With Active Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) (BOLD)

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: NCT00987831
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 1, 2009
Results First Posted : October 20, 2014
Last Update Posted : October 20, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joan Merrill, MD, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Brief Summary:

Hypothesis: A reason for repeated disappointing outcomes of clinical trials testing targeted immune biologics for lupus may be the heterogeneity of the disease, exacerbated by the variable effects on immune homeostasis of the background medications that must be continued, in most study designs, in these flare-prone patients.

Purpose of Study: This study was designed to purposefully study a population equivalent to the placebo group of typical trials in SLE. In Group A patients entered the trial in mild-moderate flare, were treated with depomedrol, and any background immune suppressants withdrawn. Biomarkers at entry on various medications can be compared to biomarkers after steroid efficacy with background immune suppressants withdrawn. Depomedrol usually wears off over one to three months. Patients were closely observed, with serial biomarkers drawn at monthly intervals or immediately at the time of a new flare. Those patients developing new flares donated blood samples, were immediately treated as deemed appropriate, exiting the study. Group A was designed for up to 50 patients and recruited a total of 41. An additional group of 62 SLE patients donated blood once without additional interventions in order to increase the power of exploratory cross-sectional biomarker analysis on different immune suppressants (Group B). A control population of matched, healthy individuals donated blood twice for the same biomarker studies to validate these assays (Group C).

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Other: Group B SLE one blood donation Other: Blood drawing only Group C Drug: Group A SLE prospective study Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Original Protocol for Group A: Patients with at least a SLEDAI score of 6 or a BILAG score of B in at least two organ systems or A in at least one organ system were immediately entered into this study once informed consent was obtained. Background immune suppressants (if any) were stopped and in about half of the patients hydroxychloroquine was also stopped. All patients immediately received a shot of depomedrol 160 mg IM. Over the next two weeks they could elect up to three more shots of depomedrol for a total of four shots by the two week visit period. A complete battery of blood tests to assess lupus disease was drawn at the screening visit, and monthly thereafter. Exploratory biomarker studies were drawn as often as weekly for some markers and as often as three times in the study (landmark visits) for others. Protocol Changes during course of study: Biomarkers were drawn at Day zero, week 2 week 4 and monthly thereafter until flare. Patients who did not improve with protocol steroid treatments were withdrawn from Group A and immediately treated as warranted. Since there was no protocol-defined improving visit, they could not continue the protocol until flare. However their baseline samples were appropriate for study as part of Group B (see below).

Landmark visits for Group A are defined as: 1.) screening (pre-dose, on background meds with active disease) 2.) two weeks or four weeks after screening as optimal to assess a patient who has stopped background meds and is now maximally improved (but at least one grade drop in BILAG scores in all organs entered at A or B or a four point drop in SLEDAI, otherwise the participant is deemed a treatment failure and could not participate further in Group A. 3.) Flare visit on no background immune suppression defined as an increase in SLEDAI of 4 points from maximal improvement or one new BILAG moderate (B) score AND the investigator considers the condition to be a significant flare with intent to treat. Patients were (whenever possible) seen within 3 days for the flare visit if flare occured between monthly scheduled visits.

The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the time to flare and safety of a treatment withdrawal protocol in patients with active, but non-organ threatening SLE. The following biomarkers were obtained for exploratory analysis: cytokine panel, B Cell studies, T Cell studies, autoantibody profiles, epigenetic and gene expression studies and flow cytometry studies.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 158 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Biomarkers of Lupus Disease: Study of Biomarker Changes Before and After Treatment With Depomedrol and Background Medication Withdrawal in Patients With Mild to Moderate SLE Disease Activity
Study Start Date : May 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2012

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Blood drawing only Group C
Healthy controls, age, sex and ethnicity matched to the active study participants were recruited for two time blood donation as controls for the biomarker studies
Other: Blood drawing only Group C
Blood drawing and Brief medical history to ensure status of healthy control

Experimental: Group A SLE prospective study
In Group A SLE patients enter with active disease. Any immune suppressant (e.g. methotrexate, azathioprine or mmf) is withdrawn and after blood drawing, depomedrol up to 160 mg IM is given. This may be repeated for a maximum of 160mg up to four times total in the first two weeks. Depomedrol is expected to last 1-3 months, serial biomarkers will be drawn until time of flare, at which time biomarkers will be drawn, patient is defined as meeting endpoint and new treatment initiated. Patients may elect to continue to donate blood samples per protocol up to one year.
Drug: Group A SLE prospective study
Patients have history and physical exmamination at each visit. Blood is drawn at each visit. At baseline, any background immune suppressant is stopped and patients given depomedrol up to 160 mg IM which can be repeated up to four times in the first two weeks. Patients are seen again at week 2, 4 and monthly until the final flare visit at which time they donate blood, receive appropriate treatments and exit study. Patients may elect to continue in study for up to one year. The following disease activity measures are included: SLEDAI, BILAG, CLASI, PGA, PROs (including lupus PRO and SF-36 ant ptGA), joint counts, exploratory outcome measures,BICLA,SRI
Other Names:
  • depomedrol
  • medrol
  • methylprednisolone

Experimental: Group B SLE one blood donation
SLE patients who meet the same entry criteria as Group A could elect to donate blood one time and not to continue in the prospective protocol. No extra intervention was performed other than blood draw and medical records review. This allowed an extension of cross sectional comparisons between biomarker changes related to background treatments by combining Group A baseline data with Group B data.
Other: Group B SLE one blood donation
Blood drawing, history, physical examination,medical record review, questionnaires, completion of disease activity measures including SLEDAI,BILAG, CLASI,PGA,PROs,LFA investigational systems, BICLA, SRI

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Time to Flare Comparing Patients With Moderate vs Severe Disease Activity at Baseline [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Group A only: patients on immunosuppressive treatments had them withdrawn at baseline. All patients were allowed up to 160 mg depomedrol at baseline which could be repeated within two weeks up to a total of 4 shots maximum or until satisfactory improvement. Time to flare was calculated from baseline. moderate disease at baseline was defined as up to 3 BILAG B (moderate disease) organ scores, no BILAG A (severe disease) score and a SLEDAI </= 10. Severe disease required >3 BILAG B, OR at least one BILAG A OR SLEDAI > 10 or meeting criteria for a severe flare on the SELENA SLEDAI flare index. At baseline 25 patients with moderate disease. 16 patients had severe disease. Note: severe rash with A on BILAG is only SLEDAI=2, explaining some discrepancies in measures

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   14 Years to 70 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

SLE Groups (Group A and B):

  1. ACR criteria for SLE.
  2. At least two organ systems moderately active to a minimum of BILAG B or SLEDAI score of 6.

Control group (Group C):

  1. Age, ethnicity and gender matched (2:1) with an SLE study participant.
  2. Free of active or major chronic disease as determined by brief history.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Safety or circumstantial reasons why volunteer cannot comply with the protocol.

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): NCT00987831

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United States, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, 73104
United States, Pennsylvania
Pfizer Inc
Collegeville, Pennsylvania, United States, 19426
Sponsors and Collaborators
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
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Principal Investigator: Joan T Merrill Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Joan Merrill, MD, Head, Clinical Pharmacology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Identifier: NCT00987831    
Other Study ID Numbers: OMRF 09-02
Pfizer Inc ( Other Grant/Funding Number: Pfizer investigator initiated study )
First Posted: October 1, 2009    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: October 20, 2014
Last Update Posted: October 20, 2014
Last Verified: October 2014
Keywords provided by Joan Merrill, MD, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation:
disease activity
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
Connective Tissue Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Methylprednisolone Acetate
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Gastrointestinal Agents
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Neuroprotective Agents
Protective Agents