Use of Infliximab for the Treatment of Pemphigus Vulgaris

2014-08-27 03:46:26 | BioPortfolio


Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a rare skin disorder that causes blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. Infliximab is a man-made antibody used to treat certain types of immune system disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. This study will determine if infliximab given in combination with prednisone is a safe and effective treatment for adults with PV.


PV involves blistering of the outer layer of skin and mucous membranes, causing a separation of epidermal cells. The disease occurs when the immune system produces antibodies to specific proteins in the skin and mucous membranes; the cause for production of these autoantibodies is unknown. Infliximab is a genetically engineered monoclonal antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, a chemical messenger that activates an immune response. Infliximab has been used to treat other autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and Crohn's disease. This study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of infliximab given in combination with prednisone for the treatment of adults with PV.

This study will last 26 weeks. At study entry, all patients will be taking a stable dose of prednisone (or an equivalent corticosteroid) of 20 to 120 mg/day for at least 2 weeks prior to study entry. Patients will be randomly assigned to one of two arms. The treatment arm will receive infusions of infliximab, and the control arm will receive placebo. Infusions will be given at study entry and Weeks 2, 6, and 14. Before the start of each infusion, a physical exam, vital signs measurement, medical and medication history, review of a disease activity log, a skin evaluation, and blood collection will occur. During each infusion and for 1 hour postinfusion, patients' vital signs will be monitored for any adverse events. Patients will need a responsible adult to take them home after they are discharged from the treatment facility; this person should remain with the patient overnight in case any problems arise from the treatment. The patient will be contacted by phone that night and the next morning after infusion and will be asked about any adverse effects they may have experienced. Those patients that experience adverse effects may be asked to return to the treatment facility for examination. Prednisone doses may be tapered by 15% every 2 weeks during the study at the investigator's discretion.

There will be a total of 9 study visits until Week 26: screening, study entry, Week 2, and every 4 weeks thereafter. Each study visit will include a physical exam, vital signs measurement, medical and medication history, a review of the disease activity log and adverse events experienced since the last visit, skin assessments, and blood collection; patients will also be asked to complete a tuberculosis (TB) questionnaire. Patients will be asked to complete quality of life questionnaires at study entry and Weeks 10, 18, and 26. Skin biopsies of unaffected skin will be done at study entry and Weeks 10, 18, and 26; if patients have PV-associated lesions, additional skin biopsies of affected skin will be done at study entry and Week 18.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver), Primary Purpose: Treatment




Infliximab, Prednisone, Placebo


Norris Cancer Center, University of Southern California
Los Angeles
United States




National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:46:26-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Separation of the prickle cells of the stratum spinosum of the epidermis, resulting in atrophy of the prickle cell layer. It is seen in diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris (see PEMPHIGUS) and DARIER DISEASE.

An autosomal dominantly inherited skin disorder characterized by recurrent eruptions of vesicles and BULLAE mainly on the neck, axillae, and groin. Mutations in the ATP2C1 gene (encoding the secretory pathway Ca2++/Mn2++ ATPase 1 (SPCA1)) cause this disease. It is clinically and histologically similar to DARIER DISEASE - both have abnormal, unstable DESMOSOMES between KERATINOCYTES and defective CALCIUM-TRANSPORTING ATPASES. It is unrelated to PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS though it closely resembles that disease.

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