A prospective, randomized, double-blind study, comparing unirradiated to irradiated white blood cell transfusions in acute leukemia patients
A prospective, randomized double-blind study comparing the effects of irradiated and unirradiated white blood cells was conducted in 108 acute leukemia patients with life-threatening infections, refractory to antibiotics. The study demonstrated no significant improvement in 30-day survival or overall survival. Transfusion of unirradiated white cells did not compromise the patient's opportunity to undergo allogeneic stem cell transplant, nor the success rate or overall survival after allogeneic transplant. The important positive finding in this study was that the unirradiated white cells produced a significantly higher increment in circulating granulocytes and in a higher proportion of patients granulocyte count exceeded 1000 per microliter, approaching normal concentrations. The increase in the number and the improved survival of the unirradiated granulocytes suggest that this procedure might potentially be a method to improve the utility of granulocyte transfusions and merits further investigation. The study demonstrated non-inferiority for unirradiated white cells. There were no harmful effects such as graft-versus-host disease, indicating that such studies would be safe to conduct in the future.
A multicenter prospective phase 2 randomized study of extracorporeal photopheresis for treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a major limitation of successful hematopoietic cell transplantation. The safety and efficacy of extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) for 12 to 24 weeks together with standard therapy was compared with standard therapy alone in patients with cutaneous manifestations of cGVHD that could not be adequately controlled by corticosteroid treatment. The primary efficacy end point was a blinded quantitative comparison of percent change from baseline in Total Skin Score (TSS) of 10 body regions at week 12. Ninety-five patients were randomized to either ECP and standard therapy (n = 48) or standard therapy alone (n = 47). The median percentage improvement in TSS at week 12 was 14. 5% for the ECP arm and 8. 5% for the control arm (P = . 48). The proportion of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in steroid dose and at least a 25% decrease from baseline in TSS was 8. 3% in the ECP arm at week 12 and 0% in the control arm (P = . 04). The nonblinded investigator assessment of skin complete or partial responses revealed a significant improvement in favor of ECP (P < . 001). ECP was generally well tolerated. These results suggest that ECP may have a steroid-sparing effect in the treatment of cGVHD. Clinical trials registered at www. ClinicalTrials. gov as NCT00054613.
The treatment of Kawasaki syndrome with intravenous gamma globulin
New England Journal of Medicine. 1986;315((6):):341-7.
We compared the efficacy of intravenous gamma globulin plus aspirin with that of aspirin alone in reducing the frequency of coronary-artery abnormalities in children with acute Kawasaki syndrome in a multicenter, randomized trial. Children randomly assigned to the gamma globulin group received intravenous gamma globulin, 400 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, for four consecutive days; both treatment groups received aspirin, 100 mg per kilogram per day, through the 14th day of illness, then 3 to 5 mg per kilogram per day. Two-dimensional echocardiograms were interpreted blindly and independently by two or more readers. Two weeks after enrollment, coronary-artery abnormalities were present in 18 of 78 children (23 percent) in the aspirin group, as compared with 6 of 75 (8 percent) in the gamma globulin group (P = 0.01). Seven weeks after enrollment, abnormalities were present in 14 of 79 children (18 percent) in the aspirin group and in 3 of 79 (4 percent) in the gamma globulin group (P = 0.005). No child had serious adverse effects from receiving gamma globulin. We conclude that high-dose intravenous gamma globulin is safe and effective in reducing the prevalence of coronary-artery abnormalities when administered early in the course of Kawasaki syndrome.