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A Randomized Trial of GM-CSF in Patients With ALI/ARDS

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00201409
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 20, 2005
Results First Posted : April 27, 2015
Last Update Posted : December 29, 2015
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Emory University
University of Colorado, Denver
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robert C. Hyzy, MD, University of Michigan

Brief Summary:
This study will test the hypothesis that administration of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to patients with acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) will improve the clinical course and outcome by shortening the duration of mechanical ventilation for these patients.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult Drug: Placebo Drug: GM-CSF Phase 2

Detailed Description:


Respiratory failure due to ALI/ARDS remains a major health problem, despite significant progress in intensive care unit care and ventilator management. ALI/ARDS is characterized by unacceptably high mortality despite enormous expenditure of health care resources. Survivors face long-term consequences that may affect their quality of life. New therapies are needed to improve early survival and to decrease long-term sequelae of this syndrome. GM-CSF is a naturally occurring cytokine that is present in the normal lung, with important roles in pulmonary homeostasis. GM-CSF is essential for normal maturation and function of alveolar macrophages (resident inflammatory cells that are responsible for initial defense against pneumonia). Alveolar epithelial cells line the gas exchange surface of the lung. Acute lung injury and subsequent abnormal healing is linked to delayed repair of damage to the epithelium following initial injury. This can then lead to pulmonary fibrosis. GM-CSF has potent effects on alveolar epithelial cells, promoting proliferation and limiting epithelial cell death. Thus, GM-CSF has a distinctive combination of activities that make it an excellent candidate for a therapeutic intervention in ALI/ARDS. Preliminary studies for this project demonstrate that GM-CSF can protect experimental animals against acute lung injury, can decrease susceptibility to pneumonia, and is protective against pulmonary fibrosis following acute lung injury. There is extensive experience with the administration of recombinant human GM-CSF to human patients (this biological is approved by the FDA and has been well-tolerated in trials involving critically ill patients). This project is based on the hypothesis that administration of GM-CSF will improve clinical outcomes for patients with ALI/ARDS.


With the assent of the attending physician, informed consent will be obtained from the patient or next of kin as soon as possible after case identification. Physiologic measurements and specimen collection will begin at the time of entry into the study. Three days after the patient has met criteria for ALI/ARDS or at entry into the study (whichever is later), he/she will be randomized to receive recombinant human GM-CSF (250 mcg/M2) or placebo, administered by slow intravenous infusion once daily for 14 days.

This study will allow entry of patients who have fulfilled criteria for ALI/ARDS for up to 7 days. Treatment will be initiated after patients have met criteria for at least 3 days. Treatment with GM-CSF may prove both safe and effective within the first 1-2 days of lung injury. However, the present study will not address that question. It is unlikely that the opportunity for improved outcome will be lost by delaying therapy for up to 3 days (based on the proposed mechanisms by which GM-CSF might benefit this patient population). Similarly, the decision to treat for 14 days will allow for improved outcome in patients with non-resolving ARDS by reducing the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia and by decreasing pathologic fibroproliferation.

The primary endpoint for this study will be the duration of mechanical ventilation. Additional important endpoints will include changes in the severity of physiologic derangements of respiratory gas exchange, non-respiratory organ failure, and incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Additional assessments designed to determine the mechanism of benefit of GM-CSF treatment will include measures of lung epithelial cell integrity and measures of alveolar macrophage (lung inflammatory cell) function.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 132 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Trial of GM-CSF in Patients With ALI/ARDS
Study Start Date : July 2004
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2009

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Participants will be randomized to receive recombinant human GM-CSF (250 mcg/M2).
Drug: GM-CSF
Recombinant human GM-CSF (250 mcg/M2) will be administered by slow intravenous infusion once daily for 14 days.

Placebo Comparator: 2
Participants will be randomized to receive placebo.
Drug: Placebo
Placebo will be administered by slow intravenous infusion once daily for 14 days.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Ventilator-free Days During Days 1-28 [ Time Frame: Measured at Day 28 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Oxygenation Index Change at Day 15 From Day 1 [ Time Frame: Day 1, Day 15 ]
    The oxygenation index is a calculation used in intensive care medicine to measure the fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) and its usage within the body. It is calculated as the fraction of inspired oxygen times Mean airway pressure)/Partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood Day 15 minus first day drug or placebo administered (Day 1).

  2. Days Without Organ Failure [ Time Frame: Measured at Day 28 ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 90 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Acute onset of illness with:

  • PaO2/FiO2 ratio of less than 300 (ALI) or PaO2/FiO2 ratio of less than 200 (ARDS)
  • Bilateral infiltrates consistent with pulmonary edema on frontal chest radiograph (infiltrates may be patchy, diffuse, homogeneous, or asymmetric)
  • Requirement for positive pressure ventilation via an endotracheal tube
  • No clinical evidence of left atrial hypertension (pulmonary arterial wedge pressure measure up to 18 mm Hg)
  • First three criteria must occur together within a 24-hour interval

Exclusion criteria:

  • Greater than 7 days elapsed following institution of mechanical ventilation
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic respiratory failure as defined by any of the following: 1) FEV1 less than 20 ml/kg of PBW; or 2) FEV1/FVC less than 50%
  • Chronic hypercapnia or hypoxemia
  • Hospitalization within the past 6 months for acute respiratory failure
  • Chronic home use of oxygen or mechanical ventilation
  • Left ventricular failure as defined by New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV status
  • Neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count less than 1000 cells/mm3)
  • History of hematological malignancy or bone marrow transplant
  • Entry into other intervention clinical trials
  • Decision of the patient or attending physician to forego aggressive care
  • Expected survival rate of less than 6 months (based solely on pre-existing medical problems [i.e., poorly controlled neoplasm or other end-stage disease])
  • AIDS or known history of HIV infection
  • Prednisone (or equivalent) therapy greater than or equal to 20 mg/day for a period of not less than 2 months with treatment continuing within 3 weeks prior to screening
  • Cytotoxic therapy within 3 weeks of screening
  • Morbid obesity defined as greater than 1 kg/c, body weight
  • At risk for increased intracranial pressure that may result from permissive hypercapnia or in whom permissive hypercapnia may be otherwise contraindicated
  • Neuromuscular disease that would potentially impact ability to wean from mechanical ventilation
  • Receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation when meeting screening criteria

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): NCT00201409

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United States, Colorado
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Denver, Colorado, United States, 80045
United States, Georgia
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30303
United States, Michigan
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, 48109
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Michigan
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Emory University
University of Colorado, Denver
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Study Director: Robert Paine, MD University of Utah and University of Michigan
Principal Investigator: Robert C. Hyzy, M.D. University of Michigan
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Robert C. Hyzy, MD, Principal Investigator, University of Michigan
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00201409    
Other Study ID Numbers: 258
P50HL074024 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: September 20, 2005    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 27, 2015
Last Update Posted: December 29, 2015
Last Verified: November 2015
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn
Acute Lung Injury
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiration Disorders
Infant, Premature, Diseases
Infant, Newborn, Diseases
Lung Injury