Determining a Viral Load Threshold for Treating Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
This study aims to determine: a) whether those patients with 'low level' viral load results (between 200 and 3,000 copies/ml) could be monitored as opposed to starting preemptive therapy with valganciclovir, ganciclovir and/or foscarnet; b) whether those patients with 'high level' viral load results (above 3,000 copies/ml) could stop preemptive therapy earlier, thus maximising the benefits of therapy and minimising its risks.
Background and Study Rationale
In transplant recipients with CMV infection, the risk of developing CMV disease is directly proportional to the CMV DNA viral load. Historically at The Royal Free, Hampstead, patients were given preemptive therapy on the basis of two consecutive positive CMV PCR results as detected by a qualitative PCR technique. With the introduction of real time PCR, using a Taqman probe and the ABI7700 thermal cycler, it is possible to obtain rapid and sensitive results of viral load on clinical samples with a lower limit of detection of 200 copies/ml. Thus, viral load data can be incorporated into the clinical management of the patient.
From our natural history data, it has been shown that patients with CMV disease had a CMV PCR load ranging from 14,000 to 203 million (median 175,500). The lower bound of the 95% confidence limits of this distribution was 37,000 copies/ml and we aimed to initiate therapy in time to prevent CMV viral load reaching this value. To give a margin of safety, bearing in mind the 1 day average doubling-time of CMV and the timing of sampling twice-weekly, we therefore recommended that preemptive therapy be given once the viral load increases above 3,000 copies/ml. In the past, all patients with a CMV PCR load between 200 and 3,000 copies/ml have received preemptive treatment because the previous PCR assay did not give a quantitative result. As treatment is associated with side effects such as neutropaenia (ganciclovir) and renal impairment (foscarnet) it would be preferable to avoid unnecessary exposure where possible. This study aims to determine: a) whether those patients with 'low level' viral load results (between 200 and 3,000 copies/ml) could be monitored as opposed to starting preemptive therapy with valganciclovir, ganciclovir and/or foscarnet; b) whether those patients with 'high level' viral load results (above 3,000 copies/ml) could stop preemptive therapy earlier, thus maximising the benefits of therapy and minimising its risks.
1. To define the number of patients in Group A with a low level of CMV reactivation who subsequently develop a viral load greater than 3000 copies/ml.
2. To define the number of patients in Group B who develop a second episode of a viral load above 3000 copies/ml after therapy has been discontinued at the defined viral load cut-offs.
1. To define the duration of antiviral therapy needed to treat CMV viraemia.
2. To record the rate of increase in viral load prior to starting preemptive therapy.
3. To correlate viral loads with CMV specific immune function.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
ganciclovir treatment or monitoring of viral load., Monitor or treat with ganciclovir
The Royal Free Hampstead, London. UK.
Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
Results (where available)
- Source: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00947141
- Information obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov on July 15, 2010
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
The quantity of measurable virus in a body fluid. Change in viral load, measured in plasma, is sometimes used as a SURROGATE MARKER in disease progression.
An ACYCLOVIR analog that is a potent inhibitor of the Herpesvirus family including cytomegalovirus. Ganciclovir is used to treat complications from AIDS-associated cytomegalovirus infections.
Clinical Trials Data Monitoring Committees
Committees established to review interim data and efficacy outcomes in clinical trials. The findings of these committees are used in deciding whether a trial should be continued as designed, changed, or terminated. Government regulations regarding federally-funded research involving human subjects (the "Common Rule") require (45 CFR 46.111) that research ethics committees reviewing large-scale clinical trials monitor the data collected using a mechanism such as a data monitoring committee. FDA regulations (21 CFR 50.24) require that such committees be established to monitor studies conducted in emergency settings.
Withholding or withdrawal of a particular treatment or treatments, often (but not necessarily) life-prolonging treatment, from a patient or from a research subject as part of a research protocol. The concept is differentiated from REFUSAL TO TREAT, where the emphasis is on the health professional's or health facility's refusal to treat a patient or group of patients when the patient or the patient's representative requests treatment. Withholding of life-prolonging treatment is usually indexed only with EUTHANASIA, PASSIVE, unless the distinction between withholding and withdrawing treatment, or the issue of withholding palliative rather than curative treatment, is discussed.
Physiologic or biochemical monitoring of the fetus. It is usually done during LABOR, OBSTETRIC and may be performed in conjunction with the monitoring of uterine activity. It may also be performed prenatally as when the mother is undergoing surgery.
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