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Study of PEG-Intron for Plexiform Neurofibromas

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00396019
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 6, 2006
Results First Posted : November 6, 2017
Last Update Posted : November 6, 2017
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jean M. Tersak, M.D., University of Pittsburgh

Brief Summary:

This study is for slow growing tumors called plexiform neurofibromas (PNF) which are a relatively common problem in people with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). These tumors are benign but as they grow, they can become disfiguring as well as disabling or even life threatening. They often cause pain, difficulty using arms or legs because of spinal cord compression, and/or nerve damage. At present, the only available therapy for plexiform neurofibromas is to try to surgically remove as much of the tumor as is possible. Because these tumors grow into the surrounding areas, total surgical resection is often impossible. Most tumors will re-grow after surgery if the entire tumor cannot be removed. To date, other treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy have not been able to shrink these tumors.

Interferon is a drug that is used for different types of tumors as well as for hepatitis. It has been used in the treatment of plexiform neurofibromas (PNF) with some subjects showing improvement in symptoms and/or a decrease in the size of the tumor. Most subjects had no further growth of their tumor while on the PEG-Intron. The drug used in this study is PEG (pegylated)-Intron. PEG-Intron is a long acting form of interferon which keeps the drug from being broken down in the body for a longer period of time and potentially could be more effective than the short-acting interferon. PEG-Intron has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Hepatitis C.

The goals of this study are:

  1. To determine how your child's plexiform neurofibroma responds to PEG-Intron when given weekly.
  2. To determine the side effects of PEG-Intron when given weekly to participants with plexiform neurofibromas.
  3. To evaluate a new method of measuring changes in the size of tumors called volume analysis. This method measures the entire volume of a tumor in three dimensions. The standard method of measuring tumors uses only the length and/or width of the tumor. By studying the different ways of measuring tumors the investigators hope to be able to determine which method is the most accurate and useful.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Plexiform Neurofibroma Drug: PEG-Intron Phase 2

Detailed Description:

PEG-Intron will be given every week through a small needle under the skin, in the same way that insulin is given to people with diabetes. Subjects will be taught to do this at home. As long as the tumor isn't growing and the side effects are tolerable, the injections will be given once a week for 2 years.

Children will be enrolled on the study into one of three strata (patient groups): strata 1 includes children who do not have any symptoms associated with their PNF and MRI scans over the past year may or may not show tumor growth, strata 2 includes children who have symptoms associated with the PNF but MRI scans over the past year have not shown growth and strata 3 includes children who have shown an increase in the size of the PNF on MRI scans over the past year, with or without any symptoms.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 86 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase II Trial of Peginterferon Alfa-2b (PEG-Intron) for Plexiform Neurofibromas
Actual Study Start Date : December 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2014

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of Participants With Imaging Response in Strata 1 and 2 [ Time Frame: MRI scans were performed at baseline and at months 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 while on treatment and every 6 months thereafter until off study. ]
    A response was defined as a ≥20% reduction in the sum of the volume of the "target" plexiform neurofibroma ( PN) within 12 months confirmed by a follow-up MRI after ≥4 weeks.

  2. Clinical Response in Stratum 2 [ Time Frame: baseline, week 6, months 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 while on treatment and every 6 months thereafter until off study ]
    Clinical response was defined as a protocol-specified improvement in ophthalmologic evaluation, an improvement of at least one level in performance status (PS) ≥50% decrease in the amount of pain medications required per week compared with baseline or ability to change from a narcotic to a nonnarcotic analgesic, sustained for at least one month.

  3. Time to Progression (TTP) in Stratum 3 [ Time Frame: baseline, week 6, months 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 while on treatment and every 6 months thereafter until off study ]
    TTP was estimated by the Kaplan-Meter method

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of Participants With Imaging Response in Stratum 3 [ Time Frame: MRI scans were performed at baseline and at months 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 while on treatment and every 6 months thereafter until off study ]
    A Response was defined as a ≥ 20% reduction in the sum of the volume of the "target" plexiform neurofibroma (PN) within 12 months, confirmed by a follow-up MRI after ≥ 24 weeks

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Months to 21 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age > or equal to 18 months to 21 years
  • Diagnosis Patients with NF1 and progressive, symptomatic or life-threatening plexiform neurofibromas which are not surgically resectable. Patients without biopsy-proof of plexiform must have at least one other diagnostic criteria for NF1: 6 or more cafe-au-lait spots, freckling in the axilla or groin, optic glioma, 2 or more Lisch nodules, distinctive bony lesion, first degree relative with NF1.
  • Only eligible if complete tumor resection is not feasible, or if a patient with a surgical option refuses surgery.
  • Patients may be treated on this trial without having received prior therapy. If patients have received prior therapy, they must have recovered from all toxic effects prior to entering this study.
  • Must have life expectancy of at least 12 months and a performance score (Karnofsky or Lansky) of > or equal to 50.
  • Must have adequate liver, kidney and bone marrow function

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Clinically significant unrelated systemic illness.
  • Received an investigational agent within the past 30 days.
  • Evidence of active visual pathway glioma
  • History of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor or ther cancer other than surgically cured non-melanoma skin cancer or cervical carcinoma in situ
  • Ongoing radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy directed at the tumor, or immunotherapy.
  • Inability to return for follow-up visits or obtain follow-up studies
  • Severe cardiovascular disease
  • Pre-existing sever psychiatric condition or history of psychiatric disorder requiring hospitalization or a history of suicidal ideation or attempt.
  • Thyroid dysfunction not responsive to therapy.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
  • History of seropositivity for HIV
  • Subjects who are pregnant, lactating, or of reproductive potential and not practicing an effective means of contraception.
  • Any medical condition requiring chronic systemic corticosteroids.
  • Subjects who are known to be actively abusing alcohol or drugs.

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): NCT00396019

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United States, Pennsylvania
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15224
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pittsburgh
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Principal Investigator: Jean Tersak, M.D. University of Pittsburgh
Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: Jean M. Tersak, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00396019    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00678951
Other Study ID Numbers: UPCI 06-116
First Posted: November 6, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: November 6, 2017
Last Update Posted: November 6, 2017
Last Verified: October 2017
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Neurofibroma, Plexiform
Nerve Sheath Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms
Nervous System Neoplasms
Nervous System Diseases
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary
Neurocutaneous Syndromes
Heredodegenerative Disorders, Nervous System
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Peginterferon alfa-2b
Antiviral Agents
Anti-Infective Agents