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Antithymocyte Globulin Compared With Supportive Care in Treating Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndrome

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified March 2003 by National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier:
First received: June 6, 2001
Last updated: February 6, 2009
Last verified: March 2003

RATIONALE: Immunosuppressive therapy may improve bone marrow abnormalities and may be effective treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome. It is not yet known whether immunosuppressive therapy is more effective than supportive care in treating myelodysplastic syndrome.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase II trial to compare the effectiveness of antithymocyte globulin with that of supportive care in treating patients who have myelodysplastic syndrome.

Condition Intervention Phase
Myelodysplastic Syndromes Biological: anti-thymocyte globulin Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: An Open Label, Prospective, Stratified, Randomized, Controlled, Multi-Center, Phase IIB Study of the Impact of Thymoglobulin Therapy on Transfusion Needs of Patients With Early Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):

Study Start Date: August 2001
Detailed Description:


  • Compare the clinical response rate of patients with early myelodysplastic syndrome treated with rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin vs standard supportive care.
  • Evaluate the safety of anti-thymocyte globulin in these patients.
  • Compare the time to and duration of clinical response, rates of partial response and therapy failure, and rate of disease progression in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the ECOG performance score, number of transfusions and/or growth factor use, and maximum time between transfusions in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the infection risk, use of medical resources, and quality of clinical response in patients treated with these regimens.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, open-label, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) subtype (refractory anemia (RA) vs RA with excess blasts or hypocellular MDS). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) IV over at least 8-12 hours on days 1-4.
  • Arm II: Patients receive standard supportive therapy for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, patients may receive ATG as in arm I.

Patients are followed for 6 months.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 72 patients (48 in arm I and 24 in arm II) will be accrued within a minimum of 6 months.


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


  • Histologically or cytologically confirmed early myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with less than 10% bone marrow blasts

    • Refractory anemia (RA)
    • RA with excess blasts (RAEB)
    • Hypocellular myelodysplasia
  • Low or intermediate-1 prognostic risk
  • Transfusion-dependent

    • Need for 2 or more units of red blood cells or platelets per month for 2 or more months prior to study OR
    • History of prior transfusions and 2 consecutive (at least 21 days apart) hemoglobin levels less than 8.0 g/dL or platelet counts less than 20,000/mm^3 during the past 2 months

      • Hemoglobin no greater than 12.0 g/dL after prior transfusion
  • No myelosclerosis occupying more than 30% of bone marrow space
  • No RA with ringed sideroblasts, RAEB in transformation, or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
  • No therapy-related MDS
  • No history of immune-related hematologic disorder (e.g., idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura)



  • 18 and over

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-2

Life expectancy:

  • At least 3 months


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • No other causes of cytopenia unrelated to MDS (e.g., gastrointestinal blood loss)
  • Iron present on marrow examination OR
  • Transferrin saturation at least 20% and ferritin at least 50 ng/mL


  • Bilirubin no greater than 2 mg/dL OR
  • SGOT/SGPT no greater than 2 times normal
  • No active or chronic hepatitis B or C


  • Creatinine no greater than 2 mg/dL


  • No symptomatic cardiac disease
  • No congestive heart failure (even if medically controlled)
  • No myocardial infarction within the past 6 months


  • No severe pulmonary disease
  • If history of pulmonary insufficiency, must have pO_2 at least 90 mm/Hg on room air or pCO_2 no greater than 40 mm/Hg


  • No history of unresolved B12 or folate deficiency since diagnosis of MDS
  • No untreated acute or chronic infection (afebrile for 7 days without antibiotics prior to study)
  • No active or chronic HIV
  • No concurrent cytomegalovirus infection
  • No other malignancy within the past 2 years except adequately treated localized squamous cell or basal cell skin cancer or carcinoma in situ of the cervix
  • No concurrent drug or alcohol abuse
  • No significant medical or psychosocial problems
  • No known allergy to rabbit protein
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception


Biologic therapy:

  • At least 8 weeks since prior biologic agents, colony-stimulating factors, or epoetin alfa for MDS
  • At least 8 weeks since other prior investigational biologic agents
  • No prior or concurrent bone marrow transplantation
  • No concurrent epoetin alfa
  • No concurrent growth factors except filgrastim (G-CSF) or sargramostim (GM-CSF) for neutropenic fevers
  • No other concurrent biologic agents


  • At least 8 weeks since prior cytotoxic drugs for MDS
  • Concurrent chemotherapy for clinical indications of disease progression or leukemic transformation allowed

Endocrine therapy:

  • At least 8 weeks since prior androgenic hormonal therapy for MDS
  • At least 8 weeks since prior danazol for MDS


  • No prior radiotherapy


  • No prior organ transplantation


  • At least 8 weeks since prior investigational drugs
  • At least 8 weeks since prior immunosuppressive drugs or other drugs for MDS
  • No concurrent immunosuppressive therapy
  • No other concurrent experimental drugs
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00017550

  Show 28 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
Sangstat Medical Corporation
Study Chair: Elizabeth C. Squiers, MD Sangstat Medical Corporation
  More Information Identifier: NCT00017550     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000068709
Study First Received: June 6, 2001
Last Updated: February 6, 2009

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
refractory anemia
refractory anemia with excess blasts
de novo myelodysplastic syndromes
previously treated myelodysplastic syndromes

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Pathologic Processes
Bone Marrow Diseases
Hematologic Diseases
Precancerous Conditions
Antilymphocyte Serum
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Immunosuppressive Agents processed this record on August 17, 2017