Prevention of Dichloroacetate Toxicity

2014-07-23 21:55:09 | BioPortfolio


This is a study to determine the safety of dichloroacetate (DCA) with a low-tyrosine diet given with or without nitisinone (NTBC) in children with chronic lactic acidosis (CLA).


DCA is being studied for the treatment of patients with CLA, which is a rare collection of mitochondrial metabolism errors causing cellular energy failure and early death. DCA causes reversible liver and peripheral nerve toxicity and it interrupts both tyrosine and heme metabolism. The inhibitory effect of DCA on mammalian tyrosine metabolism elicits biochemical changes similar to those observed in hereditary tyrosinemia type I (HT). However, some reports and studies indicate substantial reduction in the biochemical and clinical consequences of HT may occur when patients are treated concomitantly with a low-tyrosine diet (LTD) and the chemical NTBC, which inhibits an early step in tyrosine catabolism. Possibly, the same dietary and pharmacologic interventions may mitigate or prevent toxicity associated with chronic DCA exposure.

Patients visit the Center 5 times over a 1-year period, usually for 2 to 3 days per visit, for an extensive series of clinical and biochemical tests. Visit 1 is for baseline examinations and blood and urine chemistries and to educate the patient on an LTD. This visit lasts approximately 7 days to determine acceptable circulating tyrosine concentrations for LTD formula at discharge. Patients are provided with tubes to take to local laboratories every 2 weeks for blood work. Patients are readmitted in 1 month to determine adherence to diet and serum tyrosine levels. Patients who evidence dietary compliance, no adverse effects, and a willingness to continue are placed in 1 of 2 treatment arms: DCA plus an LTD plus placebo or DCA plus an LTD plus NTBC. Thereafter, patients return during Months 5, 9, and 13, which completes their 1-year treatment phase.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Prevention


Acidosis, Lactic


Nitisinone (NTBC), Dichloroacetate, Low-tyrosin diet


University of Florida
United States




FDA Office of Orphan Products Development

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:55:09-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Acidosis caused by accumulation of lactic acid more rapidly than it can be metabolized. It may occur spontaneously or in association with diseases such as diabetes mellitus, leukemia, or liver failure.

Increase in blood LACTATE concentration often associated with SEPTIC SHOCK; LUNG INJURY; SEPSIS; and DRUG TOXICITY. When hyperlactatemia is associated with low body pH (acidosis) it is LACTIC ACIDOSIS.

An inherited metabolic disorder caused by deficient enzyme activity in the PYRUVATE DEHYDROGENASE COMPLEX, resulting in deficiency of acetyl CoA and reduced synthesis of acetylcholine. Two clinical forms are recognized: neonatal and juvenile. The neonatal form is a relatively common cause of lactic acidosis in the first weeks of life and may also feature an erythematous rash. The juvenile form presents with lactic acidosis, alopecia, intermittent ATAXIA; SEIZURES; and an erythematous rash. (From J Inherit Metab Dis 1996;19(4):452-62) Autosomal recessive and X-linked forms are caused by mutations in the genes for the three different enzyme components of this multisubunit pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. One of the mutations at Xp22.2-p22.1 in the gene for the E1 alpha component of the complex leads to LEIGH DISEASE.

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A biguanide hypoglycemic agent with actions and uses similar to those of METFORMIN. Although it is generally considered to be associated with an unacceptably high incidence of lactic acidosis, often fatal, it is still available in some countries. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p290)

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