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Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor: enbrel (etanercept) for the treatment of idiopathic pneumonia syndrome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: blood and marrow transplant clinical trials network protocol. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Jun;20(6):858-64 PMID: 24607553 PMCID: PMC4128626

Pubmed ID





Idiopathic pneumonia syndrome (IPS) is a diffuse, noninfectious lung injury that occurs acutely after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). IPS-related mortality has been historically high (>50%) despite treatment with systemic corticosteroids and supportive care measures. We have now examined the role of tumor necrosis factor inhibition in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of corticosteroids with etanercept or placebo. Thirty-four subjects (≥18 years) with IPS after HCT were randomized to receive methylprednisolone (2 mg/kg/day) plus etanercept (0.4 mg/kg twice weekly × 4 weeks; n = 16) or placebo (n = 18). No active infections and a pathogen-negative bronchoscopy were required at study entry. Response (alive, with complete discontinuation of supplemental oxygen support) and overall survival were examined. This study, originally planned to accrue 120 patients, was terminated prematurely due to slow accrual. In the limited number of patients examined, there were no differences in response rates at day 28 of study. Ten of 16 patients (62.5% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 35.4% to 84.8%]) receiving etanercept and 12 of 18 patients (66.7% [95% CI, 41.0% to 86.7%]) receiving placebo met the day 28 response definition (P = 1.00). The median survival was 170 days (95% CI, 11 to 362) with etanercept versus 64 days (95% CI, 26 to 209) with placebo (P = .51). Among responders, the median time to discontinuation of supplemental oxygen was 9 days (etanercept) versus 7 days (placebo). Therapy was well tolerated, with 1 toxicity-related death from infectious pneumonia in the placebo arm. The treatment of IPS with corticosteroids in adult HCT recipients was associated with high early response rates (>60%) compared with historical reports, with poor overall survival. The addition of etanercept did not lead to further increases in response, although the sample size of this truncated trial preclude a definitive conclusion.

Author List

Yanik GA, Horowitz MM, Weisdorf DJ, Logan BR, Ho VT, Soiffer RJ, Carter SL, Wu J, Wingard JR, Difronzo NL, Ferrara JL, Giralt S, Madtes DK, Drexler R, White ES, Cooke KR


Mary M. Horowitz MD, MS Center Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Brent R. Logan PhD Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


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MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Double-Blind Method
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonias
Immunoglobulin G
Middle Aged
Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
Transplantation, Homologous
Treatment Outcome
Young Adult
jenkins-FCD Prod-321 98992d628744e349846c2f62ac68f241d7e1ea70