IMPROVE: Mycophenolate Mofetil Versus Azathioprine for Maintenance Therapy in ANCA Associated Systemic Vasculitis

13:41 EST 21st December 2014 | BioPortfolio


The aim of IMPROVE is to define the optimal maintenance therapy for ANCA-associated vasculitides (AASV) by comparing the AZA (standard regimen) with MMF in terms of efficacy, i.e. in preventing relapses.


MMF might be more effective than azathioprine as maintenance drug in AASV patients, reducing by 50% relapse rate, with a same frequency of adverse effects


AASV, including Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and renal limited vasculitis (RLV), are progressive, multisystem, autoimmune diseases which require the prescription of immunosuppressive therapy. Treatment using corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs has been standardised (ECSYSVASTRIAL project), but relapse rate remains high and treatment-related toxicity is non negligible. The IMPROVE trial aims to reduce this relapse rate by using mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) for maintenance therapy. The potential benefit of MMF has been suggested in a published open and uncontrolled study. Patients with newly diagnosed systemic AASV will be randomly assigned to receive either MMF or reference treatment with azathioprine (AZA), once remission has been obtained with cyclophosphamide and prednisone. MMF and AZA will be continued for a total of 42 months of therapy with concomitant prednisone dose tapering. The study will last 48 months. Hence, within the last 6 months of the study duration, the patients will not receive any immunosuppressive drugs.

The primary end-point will the disease-free period, taken as the period of time from remission until relapse or study end; secondary end-points will be adverse events, cumulative damage (assessed using damage score VDI) and immunosuppressive drug cumulative dose.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


ANCA Associated Systemic Vasculitis Including Wegener’s


Cyclophosphamide, Mycophenolate mofetil, Azathioprine, Prednisone (and methylprednisolone)


Hopital Cochin




Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris

Results (where available)

View Results


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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether mycophenolate mofetil is effective as treatment for new cases of ANCA associated vasculitis.

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PubMed Articles [529 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Autoantibodies directed against cytoplasmic constituents of POLYMORPHONUCLEAR LEUKOCYTES and/or MONOCYTES. They are used as specific markers for WEGENER GRANULOMATOSIS and other diseases, though their pathophysiological role is not clear. ANCA are routinely detected by indirect immunofluorescence with three different patterns: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic), p-ANCA (perinuclear), and atypical ANCA.

An immunosuppressive agent used in combination with cyclophosphamide and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985), this substance has been listed as a known carcinogen. (Merck Index, 11th ed)

A water-soluble ester of METHYLPREDNISOLONE used for cardiac, allergic, and hypoxic emergencies.

Precursor of an alkylating nitrogen mustard antineoplastic and immunosuppressive agent that must be activated in the LIVER to form the active aldophosphamide. It has been used in the treatment of LYMPHOMA and LEUKEMIA. Its side effect, ALOPECIA, has been used for defleecing sheep. Cyclophosphamide may also cause sterility, birth defects, mutations, and cancer.

A PREDNISOLONE derivative with similar anti-inflammatory action.

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