Recruitment of participants to a multiple sclerosis trial: the CombiRx experience.
ABSTRACT: and purpose Participant recruitment is central to all clinical trials. Any delay in recruitment affects the completion and ultimate success of the trial. We report our experience with patient screening and randomization in CombiRx, which may inform the design of other trials. CombiRx was a multicenter, phase III, double-blind, randomized clinical trial comparing the combined use of interferon beta-1a and glatiramer acetate to either agent alone in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). This trial was launched in January 2005 in 69 centers in the United States and Canada under a co-operative agreement with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The goal was to recruit 1000 patients over 1.5 years after a 6-month start-up period. Instead, the investigators required 4.25 years to enroll 1008 patients.During this trial, we assessed the effectiveness of various recruitment strategies, utility of rescreening prior screen failures, and potential factors and strategies used in study conduct, research, and infrastructure, all of which affected recruitment of participants and ultimately time to completion of CombiRx. We particularly were interested in the variability in time to site initiation between academic centers and private practice sites.Physicians who were directly involved in the medical care of patients with RRMS were the primary source of patients recruited to CombiRx. A flexible study design that allowed for rescreening of the initial screen failures after a period of time was useful due to the relapsing/remitting course of the disease. Academic centers took longer to implement the trial than the private practice centers, but once sites were approved for enrollment, there was no important difference in the number of participants enrolled.The CombiRx trial was conducted during a period when multiple new medications were being tested, thus affecting the pace of recruitment and limiting ability to generalize our experiences. However, the lessons we learned about process are relevant.Participants can be enrolled successfully in a clinical trial for RRMS, but factors affecting the time to achieve the requirements needed to start screening can be unpredictable and problematic. Prospective planning by the sponsors and investigators, use of central institutional review boards (IRBs), master trial agreements and secure remote desktop access to the trial database may expedite trial implementation and participant recruitment. A good scientific research question with flexible study design and active involvement of the clinicians are important factors driving recruitment. Clinical trials can be implemented successfully both in private practices and at academic centers, a consideration when selecting sites.
Project description:Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody directed against CD52 that depletes T and B lymphocytes.To evaluate the treatment effect of alemtuzumab on low-contrast vision in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients.This was a pre-defined exploratory analysis within a randomized, rater-blinded trial (CAMMS223) that was run at 49 academic medical centers in the US and in Europe. Patients with untreated, early, RRMS (McDonald, n = 334) were randomized 1:1:1 to subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (IFNB-1a), or alemtuzumab 12 mg or 24 mg. Visual contrast sensitivity was measured for each eye at baseline and quarterly, with Pelli-Robson charts.The eyes of patients in the pooled alemtuzumab group (versus IFNB-1a) had a greater than 2-fold higher rate of both 3-month and 6-month sustained visual improvement, of at least 0.3 log units (2 triplets, 6 letters) (At 3 months the hazard ratio (HR) = 2.26; CI = 1.19 to 4.31; P = 0.013; and at 6 months the HR = 2.44; CI =1.16 to 5.15; P = 0.019), and they had a lower risk of 3- and 6-month sustained worsening of at least 0.15 log units (1 triplet, 3 letters) (At 3 months the HR = 0.58; CI = 0.38 to 0.89; P = 0.012; and at 6 months HR = 0.55; CI=0.35 to 0.87; P = 0.010). Over the 36-month study period, the eyes of patients in the pooled alemtuzumab group improved in mean contrast sensitivity to a greater extent than those in the IFNB-1a group (0.080 log units versus 0.038 log units; P = 0.0102).Alemtuzumab was associated with a greater chance of improved contrast sensitivity in patients with RRMS and may delay the worsening of visual function. Contrast sensitivity testing was sensitive to treatment effects, even within an active comparator study design. These results support the validity of low-contrast vision testing as a clinical outcome in MS trials.
Project description:Advanced MRI studies have revealed regional alterations in the sensorimotor cortex of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). However, the organizational features underlying the relapsing phase and the subsequent remitting phase have not been directly shown at the functional network or the connectome level. Therefore, this study aimed to characterize MS-related centrality disturbances of the sensorimotor network (SMN) and to assess network integrity and connectedness.Thirty-four patients with clinically definite RRMS and well-matched healthy controls participated in the study. Twenty-three patients in the remitting phase underwent one resting-state functional MRI, and 11 patients in the relapsing-remitting phase underwent two different MRIs. We measured voxel-wise centrality metrics to determine direct (degree centrality, DC) and global (eigenvector centrality, EC) functional relationships across the entire SMN.In the relapsing phase, DC was significantly decreased in the bilateral primary motor and somatosensory cortex (M1/S1), left dorsal premotor (PMd), and operculum-integrated regions. However, DC was increased in the peripheral SMN areas. The decrease in DC in the bilateral M1/S1 was associated with the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and total white matter lesion loads (TWMLLs), suggesting that this adaptive response is related to the extent of brain damage in the rapid-onset attack stage. During the remission process, these alterations in centrality were restored in the bilateral M1/S1 and peripheral SMN areas. In the remitting phase, DC was reduced in the premotor, supplementary motor, and operculum-integrated regions, reflecting an adaptive response due to brain atrophy. However, DC was enhanced in the right M1 and left parietal-integrated regions, indicating chronic reorganization. In both the relapsing and remitting phases, the changes in EC and DC were similar.The alterations in centrality within the SMN indicate rapid plasticity and chronic reorganization with a biased impairment of specific functional areas in RRMS patients.
Project description:Using Kendall's coefficient of concordance (KCC-) and Coherence (Cohe-) regional homogeneity (ReHo) to explore the alterations of brain local functional connectivity in acute and remitting relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), and its clinical relevance.18 acute RRMS, 26 remitting RRMS and 20 healthy controls received resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. After data preprocessing and ReHo (KCC-ReHo and Cohe-ReHo) calculation, analysis of variance and followed post hoc analysis was used to compare the KCC-ReHo or Cohe ReHo maps across groups.After analysis of variance analysis, regions with significant among-group differences detected by the 2 ReHo analysis were overlapped, these overlapped regions located in the left superior frontal gyrus (SFG), right SFG, left cuneus and right middle occipital gyrus (P?<?.01, Gaussian random field theory correction). Followed post hoc tests showed that, compared with healthy controls,Both acute and remitting RRMS patients has disease-related brain dysfunction, interestingly, relative to remitting RRMS, the acute RRMS patients mobilized more brain regions involving visual information processing in an attempt to maintain functional stability. In addition, our results also provide a methodological consideration for future ReHo analysis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>A percent brain volume change (PBVC) cut-off of -0.4% per year has been proposed to distinguish between pathological and physiological changes in multiple sclerosis (MS). Unfortunately, standardized PBVC measurement is not always feasible on scans acquired outside research studies or academic centers. Percent lateral ventricular volume change (PLVVC) is a strong surrogate measure of PBVC, and may be more feasible for atrophy assessment on real-world scans. However, the PLVVC rate corresponding to the established PBVC cut-off of -0.4% is unknown.<h4>Objective</h4>To establish a pathological PLVVC expansion rate cut-off analogous to -0.4% PBVC.<h4>Methods</h4>We used three complementary approaches. First, the original follow-up-length-weighted receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis method establishing whole brain atrophy rates was adapted to a longitudinal ventricular atrophy dataset of 177 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients and 48 healthy controls. Second, in the same dataset, SIENA PBVCs were used with non-linear regression to directly predict the PLVVC value corresponding to -0.4% PBVC. Third, in an unstandardized, real world dataset of 590 RRMS patients from 33 centers, the cut-off maximizing correspondence to PBVC was found. Finally, correspondences to clinical outcomes were evaluated in both datasets.<h4>Results</h4>ROC analysis suggested a cut-off of 3.09% (AUC?=?0.83, p?<?0.001). Non-linear regression R<sup>2</sup> was 0.71 (p?<?0.001) and a?-?0.4% PBVC corresponded to a PLVVC of 3.51%. A peak in accuracy in the real-world dataset was found at a 3.51% PLVVC cut-off. Accuracy of a 3.5% cut-off in predicting clinical progression was 0.62 (compared to 0.68 for PBVC).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Ventricular expansion of between 3.09% and 3.51% on T2-FLAIR corresponds to the pathological whole brain atrophy rate of 0.4% for RRMS. A conservative cut-off of 3.5% performs comparably to PBVC for clinical outcomes.
Project description:Various sensors that detect double-stranded RNA, presumably of viral origin, exist in eukaryotic cells and induce IFN-responses. Ongoing IFN-responses have also been documented in a variety of human autoimmune diseases including relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) but their origins remain obscure. We find increased IFN-responses in leukocytes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis at distinct stages of disease. Moreover, endogenous RNAs isolated from blood cells of these same patients recapitulate this IFN-response if transfected into naïve cells. These endogenous RNAs are double-stranded RNAs, contain Alu and Line elements and are transcribed from leukocyte transcriptional enhancers. Thus, transcribed endogenous retrotransposon elements can co-opt pattern recognition sensors to induce IFN-responses in RRMS.
Project description:Findings from a small clinical study suggested that statins may counteract the therapeutic effects of interferon beta (IFNbeta) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).We conducted a post hoc analysis of data from the Safety and Efficacy of Natalizumab in Combination With IFNbeta-1a in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (SENTINEL) study to determine the effects of statins on efficacy of IFNbeta. SENTINEL was a prospective trial of patients with RRMS treated with natalizumab (Tysabri, Biogen Idec, Inc., Cambridge, MA) plus IM IFNbeta-1a (Avonex, Biogen Idec, Inc.) 30 microg compared with placebo plus IM IFNbeta-1a 30 microg. Clinical and MRI outcomes in patients treated with IM IFNbeta-1a only (no-statins group, n = 542) were compared with those of patients taking IM IFNbeta-1a and statins at doses used to treat hyperlipidemia (statins group, n = 40).No significant differences were observed between treatment groups in adjusted annualized relapse rate (p = 0.937), disability progression (p = 0.438), number of gadolinium-enhancing lesions (p = 0.604), or number of new or enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions (p = 0.802) at 2 years. More patients in the statins group reported fatigue, extremity pain, muscle aches, and increases in hepatic transaminases compared with patients in the no-statins group. Statin treatment had no ex vivo or in vitro effect on induction of IFN-stimulated genes.Statin therapy does not appear to affect clinical effects of IM interferon beta-1a in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or the primary molecular response to interferon beta treatment.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:In a phase 2 trial of natalizumab in Japanese patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), treatment-related changes in relapses, brain lesions, and disability worsening were found to be comparable with those observed in the phase 3 studies of natalizumab in primarily non-Asian RRMS patients. METHODS:This subanalysis of the placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of natalizumab in Japanese RRMS patients (n = 94) evaluated the effects of natalizumab versus placebo on the proportion of patients who achieved relapse-free, T1 gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesion-free, and new/newly enlarged T2 lesion-free status, defined as "no evidence of inflammatory disease activity" (NEDA)-like status, after 24 weeks of treatment. RESULTS:In this subanalysis, significantly more natalizumab-treated than placebo-treated patients achieved NEDA-like status (76.6% vs. 31.9%; P < 0.0001). In addition, the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for patients on natalizumab to reach NEDA-like status was 6.98 (2.80-17.38) compared with placebo patients. CONCLUSION:These results confirm previous findings indicating that natalizumab is efficacious in Japanese patients with RRMS. FUNDING:Biogen. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT01440101.
Project description:It is fundamentally unknown how normal cellular processes or responses to extracellular stimuli may invoke polyadenylation and degradation of ncRNA substrates or if human disease processes exhibit defects in polyadenylation of ncRNA substrates as part of their pathogenesis. Our results demonstrate that mononuclear cells from subjects with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) exhibit pervasive increases in levels of polyadenylated ncRNAs including Y1 RNA, 18S and 28S rRNA, and U1, U2, and U4 snRNAs and these defects are unique to RRMS. Defects in expression of both Ro60 and La proteins in RRMS appear to contribute to increased polyadenylation of ncRNAs. Further, IFN-β1b, a common RRMS therapy, restores both Ro60 and La levels to normal as well as levels of polyadenylated Y1 RNA and U1 snRNA suggesting that aberrant polyadenylation of ncRNA substrates may have pathogenic consequences. We extracted RNA from peripheral whole blood in healthy control subjects and patients with established relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis using PaxGene tubes.
Project description:IMPORTANCE:Most patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) who receive approved disease-modifying therapies experience breakthrough disease and accumulate neurologic disability. High-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT) with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) may, in contrast, induce sustained remissions in early MS. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the safety, efficacy, and durability of MS disease stabilization through 3 years after HDIT/HCT. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (HALT-MS) is an ongoing, multicenter, single-arm, phase 2 clinical trial of HDIT/HCT for patients with RRMS who experienced relapses with loss of neurologic function while receiving disease-modifying therapies during the 18 months before enrolling. Participants are evaluated through 5 years after HCT. This report is a prespecified, 3-year interim analysis of the trial. Thirty-six patients with RRMS from referral centers were screened; 25 were enrolled. INTERVENTIONS:Autologous peripheral blood stem cell grafts were CD34+ selected; the participants then received high-dose treatment with carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan as well as rabbit antithymocyte globulin before autologous HCT. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:The primary end point of HALT-MS is event-free survival defined as survival without death or disease activity from any one of the following outcomes: (1) confirmed loss of neurologic function, (2) clinical relapse, or (3) new lesions observed on magnetic resonance imaging. Toxic effects are reported using National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. RESULTS:Grafts were collected from 25 patients, and 24 of these individuals received HDIT/HCT. The median follow-up period was 186 weeks (interquartile range, 176-250) weeks). Overall event-free survival was 78.4% (90% CI, 60.1%-89.0%) at 3 years. Progression-free survival and clinical relapse-free survival were 90.9% (90% CI, 73.7%-97.1%) and 86.3% (90% CI, 68.1%-94.5%), respectively, at 3 years. Adverse events were consistent with expected toxic effects associated with HDIT/HCT, and no acute treatment-related neurologic adverse events were observed. Improvements were noted in neurologic disability, quality-of-life, and functional scores. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:At 3 years, HDIT/HCT without maintenance therapy was effective for inducing sustained remission of active RRMS and was associated with improvements in neurologic function. Treatment was associated with few serious early complications or unexpected adverse events.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although previous studies have shown that intra-network abnormalities in brain functional networks are correlated with clinical/cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS), there is little information regarding the pattern of causal interactions among cognition-related resting-state networks (RSNs) in different disease stages of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients. We hypothesized that abnormalities of causal interactions among RSNs occurred in RRMS patients in the acute and remitting phases. METHODS:Seventeen patients in the acute phases of RRMS, 24 patients in the remitting phases of RRMS, and 23 appropriately matched healthy controls participated in this study. First, we used group independent component analysis to extract the time courses of the spatially independent components from all the subjects. Then, the Granger causality analysis was used to investigate the causal relationships among RSNs in the spectral domain and to identify correlations with clinical indices. RESULTS:Compared with the patients in the acute phase of RRMS, patients in the remitting phase of RRMS showed a significantly lower expanded disability status scale, modified fatigue impact scale scores, and significantly higher paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT) scores. Compared with healthy subjects, during the acute phase, RRMS patients had significantly increased driving connectivity from the right executive control network (rECN) to the anterior salience network (aSN), and the causal coefficient was negatively correlated with the PASAT score. During the remitting phase, RRMS patients had significantly increased driving connectivity from the rECN to the aSN and from the rECN to the visuospatial network. CONCLUSIONS:Together with the disease duration (mean disease duration?<?5 years) and relatively better clinical scores than those in the acute phase, abnormal connections, such as the information flow from the rECN to the aSN and the rECN to the visuospatial network, might provide adaptive compensation in the remitting phase of RRMS.