Pediatric GVHD Low Risk Steroid Taper Trial

ID#: NCT05090384

Age: Birth - 21 years

Gender: All

Healthy Subjects: No

Study Phase: Phase 2

Recruitment Status: Recruiting

Start Date: May 01, 2023

End Date: March 01, 2025

Contact Information:
Rachel Young
Janna Baez
Summary: The standard treatment for acute graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) is to suppress the activity of the donor immune cells using steroid medications such as prednisone. Although most GVHD, especially in children, responds well to treatment, sometimes (around 1/3 of the time) there is either no response to steroids or the response does not last. In those cases, the GVHD can become dangerous and even life-threatening. Unfortunately, doctors cannot predict who will have a good response to treatment based on symptom severity or initial response to steroids. As a result, nearly all children who develop GVHD are treated with long courses of high dose steroids even though that means many patients receive more treatment than they probably need. Steroid treatment can cause short-term complications like infections, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, depression, anxiety, and problems sleeping and long-term complications like bone damage, cataracts in the eyes, and decreased growth. The risk of these complications increases with higher doses of steroids and longer treatment. It is important to find ways to decrease the steroid treatment in patients who do not need long courses. The doctors conducting this research have developed a blood test (GVHD biomarkers) that predicts whether a patient will respond well to steroids. The study team found that children who have low GVHD biomarkers at the start of treatment and for the first two weeks of treatment have a very high response rate to steroids. In this study, the study team will monitor GVHD symptoms and biomarkers during treatment and taper steroids quickly in patients who have GVHD that is expected to respond very well to treatment. The study team will assess how many patients respond well to lower steroid dosing and what steroid complications develop. The study team will also use surveys to obtain the patient's own assessment of their quality of life (down to age 5 years).

Inclusion Criteria:

- Newly diagnosed GVHD that meets criteria for Minnesota standard risk except GVHD that is limited to skin rash <50% body surface area (grade I GVHD) OR isolated upper gastrointestinal tract involvement

- Ann Arbor 1 GVHD by biomarkers

- GVHD not previously treated systemically (topical therapies and non-absorbed steroids are allowed)

- Any donor type, HLA-match, conditioning regimen is acceptable

- Age 0-21 years at the time of screening

- Performance score (Lansky/Karnofsky) ≥70%

- Signed and dated written informed consent obtained from patient or legal representative and assent from pediatric patients capable of providing assent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients treated for GVHD with >0.5 mg/kg prednisone or any steroid treatment for GVHD for more than 3 days prior to enrollment

- Patients receiving corticosteroids >0.1 mg/kg prednisone (or other steroid equivalent) for any indication within 7 days before the onset of acute GVHD except for adrenal insufficiency, premedication for transfusions/IV medications, or intermittent use for symptom control such as nausea/vomiting

- Relapsed, progressing, or persistent malignancy or other condition (e.g., known declining donor chimerism) requiring withdrawal of systemic immune suppression

- Patients with uncontrolled infection (i.e., progressive symptoms related to infection despite treatment, persistently positive microbiological cultures despite treatment, viral reactivations unresponsive to treatment, or any other evidence of severe infection)

- Severe organ dysfunction including requirement for dialysis, mechanical ventilation, or oxygen supplementation exceeding 40% FiO2 within 7 days of enrollment

- Significant liver disease evidenced by direct bilirubin >2 mg/dl or ALT or AST >5 times the upper limit of normal

- Creatinine clearance or estimated glomerular filtration rate <30 ml/min as calculated by institutional practice

- A clinical presentation resembling de novo chronic GVHD or overlap syndrome developing before or present at the time of enrollment

- Patients who are pregnant