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Human Upper Extremity Allotransplantation

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01459107
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : October 25, 2011
Last Update Posted : May 8, 2023
Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine
U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Johns Hopkins University

Brief Summary:

Background: Millions of people each year sustain injuries, have tumors surgically removed, or are born with defects that require complex reconstructive surgeries to repair. In the case of hand, forearm, or arm amputation, prostheses only provide less than optimal motor function and no sensory feedback. However, hand and arm transplantation is a means to restore the appearance, anatomy, and function of a native hand. Although over 70 hand transplants have been performed to date and good functional results have been achieved, widespread clinical use has been limited due to adverse effects of life-long and high-dose immunosuppression needed to prevent graft rejection. Risks include infection, cancer, and metabolic problems, all of which can greatly affect recipients' quality of life, make the procedure riskier, and jeopardize the potential benefits of hand transplantation.

Study Design: This non-randomized, Phase II clinical trial will document the use of a new immunomodulatory protocol (aka - Pittsburgh Protocol, Starzl Protocol) for establishing hand transplantation as a safe and effective reconstructive treatment for upper extremity amputations by minimizing maintenance immunosuppression therapy in unilateral and bilateral hand/forearm transplant patients. This protocol combines lymphocyte depletion with donor bone marrow cell infusion and has enabled graft survival using low doses of a single immunosuppressive drug followed by weaning of treatment. Initially designed for living-related solid organ donation, this regimen has been adapted for use with grafts donated by deceased donors. The investigators propose to perform 30 human hand transplants employing this novel protocol.

Specific Aims: 1) To establish hand transplantation as a safe and effective reconstructive strategy for the treatment of upper extremity amputations; 2) To reduce the risk of rejection and enable allograft survival while minimizing the requirement for long-term high dose multi-drug immunosuppression.

Significance of Research: Hand transplantation could help upper extremity amputees recover functionality, self-esteem, and the capability to reintegrate into family and social life as "whole" individuals. The protocol offers the potential for minimizing the morbidity of maintenance immunosuppression, thereby beneficially shifting the risk/benefit ratio of this life-enhancing procedure and enabling widespread clinical application of hand transplantation.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Amputation, Traumatic Wounds and Injuries Hand Injuries Procedure: Deceased donor hand transplantation Drug: Bone marrow cell-based therapy & single-drug immunosuppression. Phase 2

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Human Upper Extremity Allotransplantation
Actual Study Start Date : July 2011
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 2026
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 2026

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Treatment (Transplantation)
Hand/arm transplantation in combination with a novel donor bone marrow cell-based therapy followed by single-drug immunosuppression with potential weaning.
Procedure: Deceased donor hand transplantation
Deceased donor hand is surgically attached to recipient arm's stump.

Drug: Bone marrow cell-based therapy & single-drug immunosuppression.
This protocol uses a novel bone marrow cell-based therapy for composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA) rather than conventional triple-drug immunosuppression to facilitate long-term graft survival of deceased donor human upper extremities under low-dose maintenance immunosuppression. Initial T-cell depletion with alemtuzumab is followed by upper extremity transplantation and tacrolimus maintenance therapy. Donor bone marrow cells are infused on Day 10 (±4 days) post-transplantation to elicit a host alloimmune response triggering exhaustion and deletion of the respective host (anti-donor) lymphocyte clones. Subsequently, tacrolimus therapy is given for at least 6 months before spaced weaning is considered in stable recipients.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Graft Survival [ Time Frame: Transplantation through end of study period (up to 5 years) ]
    Post-operative graft survival will be documented monthly Months 1-12 and quarterly (every 3 months) Years 2-5.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Documentation of immunosuppression required by transplanted participants to maintain graft. [ Time Frame: Transplantation to end of study period (up to 5 years) ]
    Post-operative serum trough levels will be documented daily Days 1-28, semiweekly Weeks 5-12, weekly Weeks 13-25, biweekly Weeks 26-38, monthly Months 10-12, and quarterly (every 3 months) Years 2-5.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 69 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Recipient Inclusion Criteria:

  • Recent (≥6 months) or remote (i.e., several decades) unilateral or bilateral upper limb loss (below the shoulder) desiring limb transplantation.
  • Below-shoulder amputation.
  • Functionless or minimally functional hand desiring removal of functionless / minimally functional hand followed by transplantation.
  • Male or female and of any race, color or ethnicity.
  • Aged 18-69 years.
  • Completes the protocol informed consent form.
  • No co-existing medical condition which, in the opinion of the study team, could affect the immunomodulatory protocol, surgical procedure, or functional results (see Donor and Recipient Exclusion Criteria below. If the condition is amenable to treatment, the study team must agree that said condition should not significantly enhance the surgical risks of upper extremity transplantation.)
  • No co-existing psycho-social problems (i.e., alcoholism, drug abuse).
  • Negative for malignancy for past 5 years.
  • Negative for HIV at transplant.
  • Negative crossmatch with donor.
  • If female of child-bearing potential, negative serum pregnancy test.
  • If female of child-bearing potential, consent to use reliable contraception for at least one year following transplantation.
  • Consents to bone marrow infusion as part of the treatment regime.
  • USA citizen or equivalent, or foreigner with documentation of ability to pay for transplant and required follow-up care.
  • Patient agrees to comply with the protocol and states a dedication to the immunomodulatory treatment regime.

Donor Inclusion Criteria:

Donors will be selected by the upper extremity transplant team in conjunction with the organ procurement organization (OPO) according to the following criteria:

  • Brain dead meeting the criteria for Determination of Death.
  • Family consent for limb donation.
  • Stable donor (i.e., does not require excessive vasopressors to maintain blood pressure).
  • Aged 16 - 65 years.
  • Limb matched for size with recipient.
  • Same blood type as recipient.
  • Negative lymphocytotoxic crossmatch.
  • Accurately matched for gender, skin tone, and race (relative requirements depending on recipient consent).

Exclusion Criteria:

• Positive for any of the following conditions:

  • Untreated sepsis.
  • HIV (active or seropositive).
  • Active tuberculosis.
  • Hepatitis B or C.
  • Viral encephalitis.
  • Toxoplasmosis.
  • Malignancy (within past 5 years).
  • Current/recent (within 3 months of donation/screening consent) IV drug abuse.
  • Paralysis of ischemic or traumatic origin.
  • Inherited peripheral neuropathy.
  • Infectious, post infectious, or inflammatory (axonal or demyelinating) neuropathy.
  • Toxic neuropathy (i.e. heavy metal poisoning, drug toxicity, industrial agent exposure).
  • Mixed connective tissue disease.
  • Severe deforming rheumatoid or osteoarthritis in the limb.

Donor Only:

• Tattoos:

  • Non-professional tattoo within last 6 months, or
  • Personally identifiable tattoo (i.e., donor name) on potential transplant.

Recipient Only:

  • Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus
  • Conditions that, in the opinion of the study team, may impact the immunomodulatory protocol potentially exposing the recipient to an unacceptable risk under immunosuppressive treatment.
  • Sensitized recipients with high levels (50%) of panel-reactive human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies.
  • Conditions that may impact the success of the surgical procedure or increase the risk of postoperative complications including inherited coagulopathies like Hemophilia, Von-Willebrand's disease, Protein C and S deficiency, Thrombocythemias, Thalassemias, Sickle Cell disease, etc.
  • Mixed connective tissue diseases and collagen diseases can result in poor wound healing after surgery.
  • Conditions that may impact functional outcomes including Lipopolysaccharidosis and amyloidosis (may impact nerve regeneration) or rare disorders of bone healing like osteopetrosis.
  • Patients considered unsuitable per the consulted Psychiatrists appraisal.

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): NCT01459107

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Contact: Jane Littleton, CRNP, MSN 410-955-6875 jlittl38@jhmi.edu
Contact: TBD TBD 443-287-7848

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United States, Maryland
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Recruiting
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21287
Contact: Carisa M Cooney, MPH, CCRP    443-287-4629    ccooney3@jhmi.edu   
Contact: TBD TBD    443-287-7848      
Principal Investigator: Jaimie Shores, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Gerald Brandacher, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Damon S Cooney, MD, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Johns Hopkins University
Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine
U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity
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Principal Investigator: Jaimie Shores, MD Johns Hopkins University
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Johns Hopkins University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01459107    
Other Study ID Numbers: NA_00046418
First Posted: October 25, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 8, 2023
Last Verified: May 2023
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: Pooled patient data will be shared.

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Johns Hopkins University:
Hand Transplant
Composite Tissue Allotransplantation (CTA)
Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA)
Composite Tissue
Upper limb
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Wounds and Injuries
Hand Injuries
Amputation, Traumatic