A randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled study of granulocyte/monocyte apheresis for moderate to severe Crohn's disease
Sands BE, Katz S, Wolf DC, Feagan BG, Wang T, Gustofson LM, Wong C, Vandervoort MK, Hanauer S
OBJECTIVES Activated granulocytes and monocytes may contribute to the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD). In small, uncontrolled studies, granulocyte/monocyte apheresis (GMA) has shown promise in treating CD. We conducted a randomised, double-blind study to compare GMA with a sham procedure in patients with moderate to severe CD. DESIGN Patients with active CD as defined by a Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) of 220-450 were randomly allocated in a 2:1 ratio to treatment with GMA using the Adacolumn Apheresis System (JIMRO, Takasaki, Japan) or sham apheresis. Ten apheresis sessions were scheduled over a 9-week period, and efficacy was evaluated at week 12. The primary end point was the proportion of patients achieving clinical remission (CDAI score =150 without use of prohibited drugs). RESULTS Clinical remission was achieved by 17.8% of patients in the GMA group (n=157) compared with 19.2% of those in the sham control group (n=78) (absolute difference -1.4% (95% CI-12.8% to 8.5%), p=0.858). Clinical response (defined as a =100-point decrease in CDAI) was achieved by 28.0% and 26.9% of patients in the GMA and sham groups, respectively (p=1.000). The two treatments produced similar changes from baseline in CDAI and quality of life, as well as in disease severity assessed endoscopically. The incidence and types of adverse events did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS GMA was well tolerated, but this study did not demonstrate its effectiveness over a sham procedure in inducing clinical remission or response in patients with moderate to severe CD. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER Clinical Trials.gov identifier NCT00162942.
A randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study of granulocyte/monocyte apheresis for active ulcerative colitis
Sands BE, Sandborn WJ, Feagan B, Löfberg R, Hibi T, Wang T, Gustofson LM, Wong CJ, Vandervoort MK, Hanauer S, et al
BACKGROUND & AIMS Activated granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages are implicated in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. Open-label studies and clinical experience in Japan and Europe have suggested that granulocyte/monocyte apheresis is safe and effective in treating ulcerative colitis. METHODS We evaluated the efficacy of granulocyte/monocyte apheresis in a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial in patients with active moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (Mayo score 6-11) in community-based and tertiary care centers. As intervention, we used granulocyte/monocyte apheresis with the Adacolumn Apheresis System (JIMRO, Ltd, Takasaki, Japan) or sham apheresis in a 2:1 ratio for 9 weeks of treatment in a North American pivotal study (N = 168) and in a smaller, companion study of identical design conducted in Europe and Japan (N = 47). RESULTS In the pivotal study, clinical remission rates (Mayo score 0-2, with scores of 0 on rectal bleeding and 0 or 1 on endoscopic examination) were 17% and 11% for the granulocyte/monocyte apheresis (n = 112)- and sham-treatment groups, respectively (n = 56; P = . 361). Clinical response (Mayo score reduction of ≥3 points from baseline) was observed in 44% and 39% of patients, respectively (P = . 620). Similar changes were observed for the apheresis- and sham-treatment groups for endoscopic remission and response, and changes in Mayo and quality-of-life scores. The companion study and pooled data from both studies also yielded similar results. CONCLUSIONS In this study, granulocyte/monocyte apheresis was well tolerated but did not demonstrate efficacy for induction of clinical remission or response in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis.
A cluster-randomized controlled trial of a blood conservation algorithm in patients undergoing total hip joint arthroplasty
Wong CJ, Vandervoort MK, Vandervoort SL, Donner A, Zou G, MacDonald JK, Freedman J, Karkouti K, MacDonald SJ, Feagan BG
BACKGROUND The optimum strategy for reducing allogeneic blood transfusion in patients undergoing total hip joint arthroplasty (THJA) is unknown. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS The effectiveness of a comprehensive blood conservation algorithm (BCA) was evaluated by means of a cluster randomization trial. Thirty hospitals performing primary THJA were randomly assigned to implement the algorithm or to continue with usual care (UC). Subsequently, the institutional rate of allogeneic transfusion was determined for 60 consecutive patients who underwent surgery at each site. The BCA consisted of patient and provider education, hemoglobin-based recommendations for specific blood conservation strategies (recombinant human erythropoietin [rHuEPO] or autologous blood donation [ABD]) and transfusion guidelines. The main outcome measure was the institutional allogeneic transfusion rate. RESULTS One hospital withdrew consent after randomization, resulting in 14 hospitals assigned to BCA and 15 to UC. In the BCA arm, the institutional rates of rHuEPO use and ABD participation were 20. 1 and 27. 1 percent compared to 0. 6 and 25. 8 percent, respectively, in the UC arm. The allogeneic transfusion rate was substantially reduced in hospitals assigned to the BCA group (p = 0. 02; absolute risk reduction, 9. 6% [26. 1% UC vs. 16. 5% BCA]). Multivariate analysis of patient-level data showed that assignment to the UC arm was an independent risk factor for allogeneic transfusion (p = 0. 037; odds ratio, 1. 8; 95% confidence interval, 1. 0-3. 1) when adjusted for other prognostic factors. No differences were observed in the use of autologous blood. CONCLUSION A comprehensive approach to blood conservation was superior to UC for reducing allogeneic transfusion in patients undergoing THJA.
Plasma-exchange therapy in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. A double-blind, sham-controlled, cross-over study
Hahn AF, Bolton CF, Pillay N, Chalk C, Benstead T, Bril V, Shumak K, Vandervoort MK, Feasby TE
Brain. 1996;119((Pt 4):):1055-66.
Eighteen patients with definite, untreated chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) of chronic progressive (nine patients) or relapsing course (nine patients) were randomized prospectively to receive 10 plasma-exchange (PE) or sham plasma-exchange (SPE) treatments over 4 weeks in a double-blind trial. After a wash-out period of 5 weeks or when they returned to baseline scores, patients were crossed over to the alternate treatments. Neurological function was assessed serially using a quantitative neurological disability score (NDS), a functional clinical grade (CG) and grip strength (GS) measurements. Electrophysiological studies were done at the beginning and end of each treatment. A primary 'intention to treat' analysis showed significant improvement with PE in all clinical outcome measures: NDS by 38 points, P < 0.001; CG by 1.6 points, P < 0.001; GS by +13 kg, P < 0.003 and in selected electrophysiological measurements, sigma proximal CMAP, P < 0.01; sigma motor conduction velocities, P < 0.006; sigma distal motor latencies, P < 0.01. Fifteen patients completed the trial and of those, 12 patients (80%) improved substantially with PE; i.e. five out of seven patients with chronic progressive course and seven out of eight patients with relapsing CIDP improved. There were three drop-outs; one patient lost venous access; one patient suffered a stroke and one patient left the trial to receive open treatment elsewhere. The improvement in motor functions correlated with the electrophysiological data, i.e. with improved motor conduction velocities and reversal of conduction block. Eight of 12 PE responders (66%) relapsed within 7-14 days after stopping PE. All improved with subsequent open label PE; all but two patients required long-term immunosuppressive drug therapy for stabilization. The PE non-responders improved with prednisone. We conclude that PE is a very effective adjuvant therapy for CIDP of both chronic progressive and relapsing course; concurrent immunosuppressive drug treatment is required. Exchange treatments should be given two to three times per week until improvement is established; the treatment frequency should then be tapered over several months.
The impact of blinding on the results of a randomized, placebo-controlled multiple sclerosis clinical trial
Noseworthy JH, Ebers GC, Vandervoort MK, Farquhar RE, Yetisir E, Roberts R
In the randomized, placebo-controlled, physician-blinded Canadian cooperative trial of cyclophosphamide and plasma exchange, neither active treatment regimens (group I: i.v. cyclophosphamide and prednisone; group II: weekly plasma exchange, oral cyclophosphamide, and prednisone) were superior to placebo (group III: sham plasma exchange and placebo medications) using the blinded, evaluating neurologists' assessments of disease course (primary analysis). All patients were examined by both a blinded and an unblinded neurologist at each assessment in this trial. We compared the blinded and unblinded neurologists' judgment of treatment response and analyzed the clinical behavior of patients who correctly guessed their treatment. The unblinded (but not the blinded) neurologists' scores demonstrated an apparent treatment benefit at 6, 12, and 24 months for the group II patients (not group I or placebo; p < 0.05, two-tailed). There were no significant differences in the time to treatment failure or in the proportions of patients improved, stable, or worse between the group II and group III patients who correctly guessed their treatment assignments and those who did not. Physician blinding prevented an erroneous conclusion about treatment efficacy (false positive, type 1 error).
Long-term use of antecubital veins for plasma exchange. The Canadian Cooperative Multiple Sclerosis Study Group
Noseworthy JH, Shumak KH, Vandervoort MK
True or sham plasma exchange was done weekly for 20 weeks in patients in two of the randomization groups in a prospective, blind clinical trial of experimental treatments for multiple sclerosis. Because patients could be randomized to receive sham plasma exchange and placebo medications, it was decided when the trial was designed that the use of fistulae, arteriovenous shunts, venous cutdowns, or other aggressive forms of venous access would not be permitted for any patient. Accordingly, patients judged to have inadequate superficial antecubital veins were ineligible for the trial. To date, only 13 (4.4%) of 294 patients considered for entry into the trial have been rejected on these grounds. In only 4 of the 93 patients undergoing exchange was it necessary to discontinue plasma exchange because of inadequate venous access. In 79.3 percent of the 1207 exchanges done in these patients, there were no problems of any kind with venous access. In 5.4 percent of these 1207 exchanges, it was necessary to terminate the procedure prematurely because of difficulties with patients' veins. Thus, the great majority of patients free of serious systemic illness (other than chronic progressive multiple sclerosis) can undergo weekly plasma exchange for up to 20 weeks using superficial antecubital veins without the need to resort to more invasive methods of venous access.