Interferon Gamma for Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

2014-08-27 03:59:35 | BioPortfolio


This study will determine what dose of recombinant interferon-gamma is safe and effective for treating multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis. Recombinant interferon-gamma is a genetically engineered form of a substance normally produced by the body and is used to boost immune function.

Patients 5 years of age and older with multiply drug-resistant tuberculosis may be eligible for this study.

Participants will be admitted to either the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the Texas Center for Infectious Diseases in San Antonio or the South Texas Hospital or Valley Baptist Hospital, both in Harlingen, Texas. On admission, patients will have a medical history, physical examination, blood and urine tests, sputum culture, X-rays, pulmonary function tests and a computed tomography (CT) scan. CT produces 3-dimensional images of body tissues and organs in small sections. For the procedure, the patient lies still on a table surrounded by the scanner.

All patients will continue treatment with anti-tuberculosis antibiotics during and after the study period and may elect whether or not to take gamma interferon in addition to the antibiotic. Five patients will receive only antibiotic treatment, and 5 each will receive one of 3 doses (0.025, 0.05 or 0.1 milligrams per square meter of body surface area) of interferon-gamma injected under the skin 3 times a week. The patient or caregiver will be taught to give the injections, which are similar to insulin injections for diabetes.

Patients will be in isolation in the hospital from the start of therapy until sputum samples show no evidence of tuberculosis for 3 consecutive weeks. Following that, they will repeat the tests done on admission (except CT) during follow-up visits (1- to 2-day hospitalizations) at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24 months after the start of therapy. Patients taking interferon gamma will have blood drawn more frequently (monthly) for the first 6 months, and patients with lung infection will have sputum samples collected more frequently-weekly for the first 3 months or until three consecutive negative samples are obtained and then monthly throughout the course of therapy. Patients with lung infection will also have repeat CT scans at 6 and 12 months while on interferon gamma. In one or two patients on the drug, blood will be drawn frequently following one injection of gamma interferon (just before the injection and again at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 6, 12, 18, 24 and 48 hours after it) to see if a difference in blood levels of the drug can be detected.


This is a phase I/II, controlled, open label, dose escalation study to determine the tolerance, toxicity, and clinical effect of the administration of interferon-gamma on the clinical condition and immune function of patients with multiply drug resistant M. tuberculosis infections (MDRTB). The study drug (interferon gamma) will be administered subcutaneously three times a week at three dose levels (0.025 mg/m(2), 0.05 mg/m(2), 0.1 mg/m(2)) for one year in addition to anti-tuberculous medications, as determined by in vitro sensitivities.

Study Design

Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Interferon Gamma


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
United States




National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:59:35-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The assay of INTERFERON-GAMMA released from lymphocytes after their exposure to a specific test antigen, to check for IMMUNOLOGIC MEMORY resulting from a previous exposure to the antigen. The amount of interferon-gamma released is usually assayed by an ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAY.

A type II interferon produced by recombinant DNA technology. It is similar to the interferon secreted by lymphocytes and has antiviral and antineoplastic activity.

The major interferon produced by mitogenically or antigenically stimulated LYMPHOCYTES. It is structurally different from TYPE I INTERFERON and its major activity is immunoregulation. It has been implicated in the expression of CLASS II HISTOCOMPATIBILITY ANTIGENS in cells that do not normally produce them, leading to AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.

An interferon regulatory factor that recruits STAT1 PROTEIN and STAT2 PROTEIN heterodimers to interferon-stimulated response elements and functions as an immediate-early protein.

A multimeric complex that functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor. ISGF3 is assembled in the CYTOPLASM and translocated to the CELL NUCLEUS in response to INTERFERON signaling. It consists of ISGF3-GAMMA and ISGF3-ALPHA, and it regulates expression of many interferon-responsive GENES.

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