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Chapel Hill, NC, United States

St.Clair E.W.,Duke University | Levesque M.C.,University of Pittsburgh | Prak E.T.L.,University of Pennsylvania | Vivino F.B.,University of Pennsylvania | And 6 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatism

Objective To study the safety and clinical efficacy of rituximab therapy for primary Sjögren's syndrome, as well as to investigate its mechanisms. Methods Patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome were enrolled in an open-label trial, were given rituximab (1 gm) infusions on days 1 and 15, and were monitored through week 52. The primary end point was safety, with secondary end points evaluating clinical and biologic efficacy. Blood was obtained for enumeration of lymphocyte subsets, measurement of serum autoantibody and BAFF levels, and analysis of gene expression. Results Twelve female patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome were administered rituximab. They had a median age of 51 years (range 34-69 years) and a median disease duration of 8.0 years (range 2-18 years). We observed no unexpected toxicities from the rituximab therapy. Modest improvements were observed at week 26 in patient-reported symptoms of fatigue and oral dryness, with no significant improvement in the objective measures of lacrimal and salivary gland function. The recovery of blood B cells following the nadir from rituximab therapy was characterized by a predominance of transitional B cells and a lack of memory B cells. While blood B cell depletion was associated with an increase in serum BAFF levels, no significant changes were observed in the levels of serum anti-Ro/SSA, anti-La/SSB, and anti-type 3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies or in the blood interferon signature. Conclusion In patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome, a single treatment course of rituximab was not associated with any unexpected toxicities and led to only modest clinical benefits despite effective depletion of blood B cells. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology. Source

Thornburg C.D.,Duke University | Calatroni A.,Rho Inc. | Panepinto J.A.,Medical College of Wisconsin
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Hydroxyurea is a safe and efficacious medication for children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Our objective was to compare health-related quality of life (HRQL) between children taking hydroxyurea and those not taking hydroxyurea. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of children with SCD who had completed the PedsQL 4.0 at Duke University Medical Center or the Midwest Sickle Cell Center. Our primary outcome was HRQL in children receiving hydroxyurea therapy compared with those not receiving hydroxyurea. One hundred and ninety-one children with SCD were included in the study. Children in the hydroxyurea group had higher self-reported Total PedsQL median scores than children in the no hydroxyurea group (P=0.04). Child self-reported physical functioning scores were significantly higher for children in the hydroxyurea group (P=0.01). In conclusion, children with SCD who received hydroxyurea therapy reported better overall HRQL and better physical HRQL than children who did not receive this therapy despite disease severity. Further research assessing the impact of hydroxyurea therapy on HRQL, such as prospective assessment over time, would aid in our understanding of the effectiveness of hydroxyurea for individual children. Ultimately, this may aid in decreasing the barriers to the use of hydroxyurea. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Ware R.E.,Baylor College of Medicine | Helms R.W.,Rho Inc.

Stroke is a devastating complication of sickle cell anemia (SCA) with high recurrence if untreated. Chronic transfusions reduce recurrent strokes but have associated morbidities including iron overload. Stroke With Transfusions Changing to Hydroxyurea (SWiTCH) was a multicenter phase 3 randomized trial comparing standard treatment (transfusions/chelation) to alternative treatment (hydroxyurea/phlebotomy) for children with SCA, stroke, and iron overload. SWiTCH was a noninferiority trial with a composite primary end point, allowing an increased stroke risk but requiring superiority for removing iron. Subjects on standard treatment received monthly transfusions plus daily deferasirox iron chelation. Subjects on alternative treatment received hydroxyurea plus overlap transfusions during dose escalation to maximum tolerated dose (MTD), followed by monthly phlebotomy. Subjects on standard treatment (N = 66) maintained 30% sickle hemoglobin (HbS) and tolerated deferasirox at 28.2 ± 6.0 mg/kg/d. Subjects on alternative treatment (N = 67) initiated hydroxyurea and 60 (90%) reached MTD at 26.2 ± 4.9 mg/kg/d with 29.1% ± 6.7% fetal hemoglobin (HbF). Adjudication documented no strokes on transfusions/chelation but 7 (10%) on hydroxyurea/ phlebotomy, still within the noninferiority stroke margin. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute closed SWiTCH after interim analysis revealed equivalent liver iron content, indicating futility for the composite primary end point. Transfusions and chelation remain a better way to manage children with SCA, stroke, and iron overload. This clinical trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00122980. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Telen M.J.,Duke University | Wun T.,University of California at Davis | McCavit T.L.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | De Castro L.M.,University of Pittsburgh | And 6 more authors.

Treatment of vaso-occlusive crises (VOC) or events in sickle cell disease (SCD) remains limited to symptom relief with opioids. Animal models support the effectiveness of the pan-selectin inhibitor GMI-1070 in reducing selectin-mediated cell adhesion and abrogating VOC. We studied GMI-1070 in a prospective multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 study of 76 SCD patients with VOC. Study drug (GMI-1070 or placebo) was given every 12 hours for up to 15 doses. Other treatment was per institutional standard of care. All subjects reached the composite primary end point of resolution of VOC. Although time to reach the composite primary end point was not statistically different between the groups, clinically meaningful reductions in mean and median times to VOC resolution of 41 and 63 hours (28% and 48%, P = .19 for both) were observed in the active treatment group vs the placebo group. As a secondary end point, GMI-1070 appeared safe in acute vaso-occlusion, and adverse events were not different in the two arms. Also in secondary analyses, mean cumulative IV opioid analgesic use was reduced by 83% with GMI-1070 vs placebo (P = .010). These results support a phase 3 study of GMI-1070 (now rivipansel) for SCD VOC. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01119833. Source

McGowan E.C.,Johns Hopkins University | Bloomberg G.R.,University of Washington | Gergen P.J.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Visness C.M.,Rho Inc. | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Objective Previous data suggest that food allergy (FA) might be more common in inner-city children; however, these studies have not collected data on both sensitization and clinical reactivity or early-life exposures.Methods Children in the Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma birth cohort were followed through age 5 years. Household exposures, diet, clinical history, and physical examinations were assessed yearly; levels of specific IgE to milk, egg, and peanut were measured at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years of age. On the basis of sensitization (IgE ≥0.35 kU/L) and clinical history over the 5-year period, children were classified as having FA or being possibly allergic, sensitized but tolerant, or not allergic/not sensitized.Results Five hundred sixteen children were included. Overall, 55.4% were sensitized (milk, 46.7%; egg, 31.0%; and peanut, 20.9%), whereas 9.9% were categorized as having FA (peanut, 6.0%; egg, 4.3%; and milk, 2.7%; 2.5% to >1 food). The remaining children were categorized as possibly allergic (17.0%), sensitized but tolerant (28.5%), and not sensitized (44.6%). Eighteen (3.5%) reported reactions to foods for which IgE levels were not measured. Food-specific IgE levels were similar in children with FA versus sensitized but tolerant children, except for egg, levels of which were higher in patients with FA at ages 1 and 2 years. FA was associated with recurrent wheeze, eczema, aeroallergen sensitization, male sex, breast-feeding, and lower endotoxin exposure in year 1 but not with race/ethnicity, income, tobacco exposure, maternal stress, or early introduction of solid foods.Conclusions Even given that this was designed to be a high-risk cohort, the cumulative incidence of FA is extremely high, especially considering the strict definition of FA that was applied and that only 3 common allergens were included. © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Source

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