Last updated on March 2019

Rituximab Versus Cyclophosphamide in Connective Tissue Disease-ILD

Brief description of study

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is characterised by inflammation and scarring of the lung and is the leading cause of death in patients with systemic sclerosis, and contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in many other connective tissue diseases (CTDs) such as polymyositis/dermatomyositis and mixed connective tissue disease. When ILD is extensive and/or progressive, immunosuppressive medication is often required to stabilize lung disease and alleviate symptoms. Current standard care for CTD associated ILD is extrapolated from studies performed in individuals with systemic sclerosis and comprises low dose corticosteroids and intravenous cyclophosphamide followed by oral azathioprine. In some individuals even this intensive immunosuppression is insufficient to prevent deterioration, and in a significant minority of affected individuals this results in respiratory failure and death. Rituximab has recently been reported as an effective 'rescue therapy' for stabilizing and even improving ILD in this patient group. Based on observations gained from this experience, the investigators believe that rituximab is a potential important alternative to current best therapy for this patient group. This study has therefore been initiated to evaluate the efficacy of rituximab (compared with standard therapy) in patients with progressive CTD related ILD.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT01862926

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