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IVIg for Small Fiber Neuropathy With Autoantibodies TS-HDS and FGFR3

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03401073
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : January 17, 2018
Last Update Posted : April 19, 2021
Phoenix Neurological Associates, LTD
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Christopher Gibbons, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Brief Summary:

The objective of this study is to develop a rationale for the selective treatment of small fiber neuropathy with immune globulin (IVIG) in the appropriate patients.

The investigators hypothesize that individuals with auto-antibodies targeting neuronal antigens (TS-HDS and FGFR3) and confirmed evidence of small fiber neuropathy (by skin biopsy analysis of intra-epidermal nerve fiber density) will have an improvement in both nerve fiber density and pain after treatment with immune globulin.

The co-primary endpoints will be a change in neuropathic pain (by VAS pain score) and a change in intra-epidermal nerve fiber density (by punch skin biopsy).

The data gained from this pilot study will establish a rationale, with an appropriate screening test, for the use of immune globulin for the treatment of small fiber neuropathy.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Small Fiber Neuropathy Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy Drug: Intravenous immunoglobulin Drug: 0.9% Sodium Chloride Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Small fiber neuropathies, and mixed small and large fiber neuropathies, have many potential causes including diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, environmental and toxic exposures, HIV, autoimmune and paraproteinemias.

However, despite this broad differential at least 30% of cases of small fiber neuropathies remain idiopathic. There is therefore a growing interest in the potential for using IVIG in small fiber neuropathy without direct proof that the disorder is caused by immune reactions. We have recently uncovered two novel autoantibodies, TS-HDS and FGFR-3, that are targeted again peripheral neural structure. TS-HDS is a disaccharide component of glycosylation of heparin and heparin sulfate.

Patients with elevated levels of IgM against TS-HDS display clear small fiber loss with IgM deposits around the outside of medium- & larger-sized capillaries with C5b-9 complement deposits. FGFR-3 is a secreted cell surface receptor; genetic defects of FGFR-3 are linked to achrondroplasia and other bony abnormalities.

The antibodies to TS-HDS and FGFR-3 are detected in up to 20% of patients with otherwise idiopathic small fiber neuropathy, but are rare in patients without small fiber neuropathy.

Dr. Levine (a co-investigator on this project) recently presented 3 cases of small fiber associated with elevated levels of auto-antibodies to TS-HDS or FGFR-3 who were treated with IVIG at 2 gm/kg/month for 6 months. He examined skin biopsies for intra-epidermal nerve fiber density and patient self-reported pain scores at baseline and after six months of therapy. All 3 cases showed marked improvement in pain scores. The average reduction in pain was 54%. In addition there was a clear increase in the intra-epidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) after 6 months of therapy. Pre-treatment IENFD was 1.6, 1.7, and 2.4 at the calf. After 6 months of therapy the IENFD was 8.4, 5.7, 3.3 respectively (these are clinically significant improvement in nerve fiber density.

The investigators believe these anecdotal cases suggest that TS-HDS and FGFR-3 antibodies may be a marker for a group of SFN patients that are immune mediated and may respond to IVIG. (This case series was presented as a poster at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in 2017)

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial of Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy in Patient With Small Fiber Neuropathy Associated With Autoantibodies to TS-HDS and FGFR3
Actual Study Start Date : September 1, 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 1, 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 1, 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Dietary Fiber

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: 0.9% Sodium Chloride
The study will include a total 20 individuals. Subjects will be randomized equally to treatment or placebo. The placebo will consist of 0.9% Sodium Chloride per day over 2 days. Followed by 0.9% Sodium Chloride over 1 day every 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments. Participants who are randomized to placebo will receive the same volume as they would if they were randomized to IVIG (i.e.: as if receiving IVIG at 2gm/kg) through a peripheral IV line.
Drug: 0.9% Sodium Chloride
Sodium Chloride (also known as saline) is a solution of sodium chloride, or salt, and sterile water.
Other Name: Saline

Experimental: Intravenous Immunoglobulin
The study will include a total 20 individuals. Subjects will be randomized equally to treatment or placebo. Treatment will consist of IVIG administered at an initial dose of 2 grams/kg over 2 days followed by 1 gram/kg over 1 day every 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments
Drug: Intravenous immunoglobulin
Gamunex-C [immune globulin injection (human) 10% caprylate/chromatography purified] is a sterile solution of human immune globulin protein.
Other Name: Gamunex-C Liquid

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The change in nerve fiber density between visits 1 and 8. [ Time Frame: 22-27 weeks after screening visit ]
    Difference in intra-epidermal nerve fiber density between visits 1 and 8 will be measured

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. The change in neuropathic pain severity between visits 1 and 8. [ Time Frame: 22-27 weeks after screening visit ]
    The visual analog scale (VAS) of pain allows for quantification of neuropathic pain (line from 0: no pain to 10:worst pain)

  2. 2) The difference in change between quantified Utah Early Neuropathy examination scores, between treatment and placebo groups between visits 1 and 8. [ Time Frame: 22-27 weeks after screening visit ]
    The Utah Early Neuropathy Scale (UENS) was developed specifically to detect and quantify early small-fiber sensory neuropathy and to recognize modest changes in sensory severity and distribution.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Patient with clinically evident and biopsy proven pure small fiber neuropathy as evidenced by reduced intra-epidermal nerve fiber density seen on skin biopsy using PGP 9.5 as the immunostain.
  2. Patients must have a baseline pain score on a VAS scale of Greater or equal to 4/10
  3. Patients must have elevated titers of autoantibodies to TS-HDS or FFR3 as measured in Dr Alan Pestronk's lab at Washington University in St Louis.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Any other known cause for small fiber neuropathy other than the presence of the elevated titers of auto-antibodies. For example patients with diabetes, HIV, Sjogrens, Vitamin deficiency etc.
  2. Patients with generalized, severe musculoskeletal conditions other than SFN that prevent a sufficient assessment of the patient by the physician
  3. Cardiac insufficiency (New York Heart Association III/IV), cardiomyopathy, significant cardiac dysrhythmia requiring treatment, unstable or advanced ischemic heart disease).
  4. Severe liver disease (ALAT 3x > normal value).
  5. Severe kidney disease (creatinine 1.5x > normal value).
  6. Known hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV infection.
  7. Patients with a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) within the last year prior to baseline visit or pulmonary embolism ever; patients with susceptibility to embolism or deep vein thrombosis.
  8. Body mass index (BMI) ≥40 kg/m2.
  9. Medical conditions whose symptoms and effects could alter protein catabolism and/or IgG utilization (e.g. protein-losing enteropathies, nephrotic syndrome).
  10. Known IgA deficiency with antibodies to IgA.
  11. History of hypersensitivity, anaphylaxis or severe systemic response to immuno-globulin, blood or plasma derived products, or any component of Gamunex.
  12. Known blood hyperviscosity, or other hypercoagulable states.
  13. Use of IgG products within six months prior to enrolment.
  14. Use of other blood or plasma-derived products within three months prior to enrollment.
  15. Patients with a history of drug or alcohol abuse within the past five years prior to enrollment.
  16. Patients unable or unwilling to understand or comply with the study protocol
  17. Participating in another interventional clinical study with investigational treatment within three months prior to enrollment.
  18. Women who are breast feeding, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, or are unwilling to use an effective birth control method (such as implants, injectable, combined oral contraceptives, some intrauterine devices (IUDs), sexual abstinence or vasectomized partner) while on study.

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): NCT03401073

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United States, Massachusetts
Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
Sponsors and Collaborators
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Phoenix Neurological Associates, LTD
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Principal Investigator: Christopher Gibbons, MD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Cednter

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Responsible Party: Christopher Gibbons, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03401073    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2017P000592
First Posted: January 17, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 19, 2021
Last Verified: April 2021
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
Keywords provided by Christopher Gibbons, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
small Fiber Neuropathy
Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Small Fiber Neuropathy
Neuromuscular Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
Rho(D) Immune Globulin
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs