Last updated on December 2018

Eltrombopag for People With Fanconi Anemia

Brief description of study


Fanconi anemia is a genetic disease. Some people with it have reduced blood cell counts. This means their bone marrow no longer works properly. These people may need blood transfusions for anemia (low red blood cells) or low platelet counts or bleeding. Researchers want to see if a new drug will help people with this disease.


To find out if a new drug, eltrombopag, is effective in people with Fanconi anemia. To know how long the drug needs to be given to improve blood counts.


People at least 4 years old with Fanconi anemia with reduced blood cell counts.


Participants will be screened with blood and urine tests. They will repeat this before starting to take the study drug.

Participants will take eltrombopag pills by mouth once a day for 24 weeks. They will be monitored closely for side effects.

Participants will have blood tests every 2 weeks while on eltrombopag.

Participants will visit NIH 3 months and 6 months after starting eltrombopag. At these visits, participants will:

Answer questions about their medical history, how they are feeling, and their quality of life

Have a physical exam

Have blood and urine tests

Have a bone marrow sample taken by needle from the hip. The area will be numbed.

If participants blood cell counts improve, they might join the extended access part of the study. They will continue taking eltrombopag for 3 years and sign a different consent.

After 24 weeks of treatment, if there is no improvement in blood cell counts, participants will stop taking eltrombopag. They will return for an optional follow-up visit that repeats the study visits.

Detailed Study Description

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare genetic disease that often presents as a bone marrow failure (BMF) syndrome but also can affect any other organ. Etiologically, loss of function mutations in more than 21 different gene members of the FA core complex (i.e. FANCA-FANCV) have been associated with FA. The FA core complex is involved in interstrand cross-link DNA damage repair during cell division. Impaired DNA repair causes genomic instability which consequently can cause apoptosis of the cell or malignant transformation. In addition to impaired DNA repair mechanisms, FA cells exhibit increased sensitivity to pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IFN- >=, TNF- ) and elevated levels of these cytokines have been associated with bone marrow failure in subjects with FA and other inherited bone marrow failure syndromes.

Patients with FA may present with congenital anomalies, such as microcephaly or short stature. However, the failure of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment to produce sufficient numbers of peripheral blood cells, and progression to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia are the greatest risk factors for morbidity and mortality, particular in young patients with FA In a few reported cases, spontaneous somatic reversion of inherited mutations has resulted in a selective growth advantage of corrected HSCs that subsequently restored hematopoiesis. However, therapeutic options are limited in FA. Although HSC transplantation outcomes have significantly improved over the past two decades, donor availability, graft failure, and FA-specific transplant toxicities are still significant hurdles towards a curative treatment of FA-associated BMF. Moreover, attempts at genetic correction of FA are not yet ready for patient care.

The thrombopoietin (TPO) mimetic eltrombopag (EPAG) has recently been shown to be effective in restoring tri-lineage hematopoiesis in patients with treatment refractory acquired severe aplastic anemia (SAA). Of particular interest for patients with FA is the observation that EPAG also improves the repair of double strand DNA breaks, a mechanism that is impaired in patients with FA. Additionally, our pre-clinical studies indicate that EPAG evades INF- >= blockade of signal transduction from the TPO receptor (c-MPL) resulting in improved survival and proliferation of HSCs. Based on these clinical and pre-clinical studies, we hypothesize that EPAG will improve peripheral blood cell counts in patients with FA and thus positively affect morbidity and mortality.

This phase II clinical trial proposes to treat patients with FA for 6 months with EPAG to assess safety and efficacy at improving hematological manifestations of FA. Responders at 6 months will be able to continue EPAG on the extension part of this protocol for an additional 3 years. During this time frame we anticipate further improvement of peripheral blood cells counts that will eventually result in the discontinuation of EPAG after a tapering period. Translational studies will explore EPAG effects on DNA repair activity, apoptosis, global transcriptome and TPO signaling pathways in patient s hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs).

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03206086

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

Start Over

For more information at the ...

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
Bethesda, MD United States
  Connect »

Recruitment Status: Open

Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team

Receive Emails About New Clinical Trials!

Sign up for our FREE service to receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.