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Study of Valproic Acid (VPA) vs Placebo to Shorten Time of Indwelling Pleural Catheter

Information source: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 20, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Breast Cancer

Intervention: Placebo (Drug); Valproic Acid (VPA) (Drug); Questionnaires (Behavioral); Pill Diary (Behavioral); Drainage Diary (Behavioral)

Phase: Phase 2

Status: Recruiting

Sponsored by: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Wendy A. Woodward, MD, PHD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Overall contact:
Wendy A. Woodward, MD, PHD, Phone: 713-794-4892


The goal of this clinical research study is to learn if receiving valproic acid (VPA) compared to a placebo can reduce the amount of time you will need to have an indwelling pleural catheter compared to the standard of care, which involves using an indwelling pleural catheter alone. VPA is designed to stop cancer cells from dividing and maturing. This may cause the cancer cells to become less malignant and cause less pleural fluid production. A placebo is not a drug. It looks like the study drug but is not designed to treat any disease or illness. It is designed to be compared with a study drug to learn if the study drug has any real effect.

Clinical Details

Official title: Randomized Phase II Double Blind Study of Valproic Acid (VPA) vs Placebo to Shorten Time of Indwelling Pleural Catheter

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Time to Pleural Catheter Removal

Detailed description: Study Groups: You will be randomly assigned (as in the flip of a coin) to 1 of 2 study groups. Group 1 will take a placebo 3 times a day for 10 weeks while an indwelling pleural catheter drains pleural fluid. If you are in Group 2, you will take VPA 3 times a day for a total of 10 weeks while an indwelling pleural catheter drains pleural fluid. Study Drug Administration: Within 48 hours of the placement of the indwelling plural catheter, all study participants will take either placebo or VPA capsules 3 times a day by mouth with food. If you tolerate the starting dose well and the study doctor thinks it is in your best interest, your dose level will be doubled. You may be contacted at a later time by telephone to discuss how you are doing with the medicine. If your doctor feels your dose should be doubled, he/she will talk to you about it at this time. Neither you nor the study staff will know if you are receiving the study drug or the placebo. However, if needed for your safety, the study staff will be able to find out what you are receiving. You will be given a pill diary to record the time you take each dose. You will need to bring the diary with you to every clinic visit. The fluid drained from the catheter will be collected and studied to see if the how the VPA is working and how it may affect the time you will need to have an indwelling pleural catheter. You will also be asked to keep a daily diary of drainage with the date and amount of fluid drained each day at home. You will bring the drained fluid from the day before to each clinic visit to give to the research team. You will be given special containers to store the drained fluid. You will only save fluid from the day before each clinic visit. On the other days you will write down the amount of drained fluid that was collected, then you can throw away the fluid. You must bring the daily drainage diary to each clinic visit. Study Visits: At Weeks 2, 6, and 10 while you are receiving the study drug:

- You will have a complete physical exam including weight and vital signs and a medical


- You will complete the same questionnaires that you completed at screening.

- Your performance status will be recorded.

- Blood (about 2 tablespoons) will be drawn for routine tests.

- You will have a chest X-ray to check the status of the disease.

At Week 10 only, you will have a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest to check the status of the disease. Length of Study: You will be taken off study after the indwelling pleural catheter has been removed. You will no longer be able to take part in this study if the disease gets worse, if intolerable side effects occur, or if you are unable to follow study directions. Your active participation in this study will be over after Week 10. Follow-Up Medical Record Review: After the 10 week visit the study personnel will continue to review your medical record to learn when the indwelling pleural catheter was removed. Your medical record information will continue to be reviewed for up to 5 years. This is an investigational study. VPA is FDA approved and commercially available for the treatment of epileptic seizures and mania in bipolar disorder. VPA use in patients using pleural catheters is for research purposes only. Up to 76 patients will take part in this study. All will be enrolled at MD Anderson.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria: 1. Patients with symptomatic pleural effusion requiring placement of an IPC. 2. Pathologic documentation of breast cancer. 3. Performance status 0 to 3 (ECOG scale). 4. Signed informed consent within a week of indwelling pleural catheter placement. 5. Subject must be female or male age 18 years or over. 6. At least one prior line of chemotherapy in the metastatic setting. 7. Positive effusion cytology. Exclusion Criteria: 1. Other prior malignancy (except for adequately treated basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, in situ cervical cancer, or other cancer) from which the patient has been disease-free for at least two years. 2. Laboratory results sustained at: Neutrophils less than 1. 5 × 109/L ; Serum bilirubin >1. 5 x the upper limit of reference range (ULRR); Serum creatinine >1. 5 x ULRR or creatinine clearance < 30 mL/minute (calculated by Cockcroft-Gault formula). 3. Patients with a history of existing hypercalcemia, hypocalcemia, hypermagnesemia or hypomagnesemia that is not corrected despite supplementation. Known Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) > 2. 5 × ULRR or alkaline phosphatase (ALP) >2 x ULRR, or > 4x ULRR if judged by the investigator to be related to liver metastases. 4. Serious underlying medical condition that would impair the ability of the patient to receive protocol treatment, specifically cardiac diseases, uncontrolled hypertension or renal diseases. 5. Diagnosis of an infection requiring IV antibiotics 14 days prior to registration. 6. Any psychological, familial, sociological or geographical condition potentially hampering compliance with the study protocol and follow-up schedule. 7. Women who are currently pregnant or breast feeding. 8. Known hypersensitivity to VPA, valproate sodium, disodium valproate, or any ingredient in the respective formulation. 9. Known urea cycle disorders based on history. 10. Known HIV infection based on history. 11. Active or recent pancreatitis (within last 6 months). 12. Any of the following interventions on the affected hemithorax: prior IPC, prior chest tube placement, history of chemical or mechanical pleurodesis, history of thoracotomy within 4 weeks and incompletely healed surgical incision before randomization. 13. Evidence of empyema or history of empyema of the affected hemithorax. 14. Non-correctable bleeding diathesis. 15. Clinical evidence of skin infection at the potential site of IPC placement. 16. Patients currently taking valproic acid. 17. History of hepatitis or liver disease. 18. The following drugs will not be administered concurrently with VPA: Carbapenem antibiotics; Clonazepam; Topiramate; Felbamate; Lorazepam; Barbiturates; Barbiturates; CarBAMazepine; ChlorproMAZINE; Ethosuximide; GuanFACINE; LamoTRIgine; MethylfolateOXcarbazepine; Paliperidone; Phenytoin; Primidone; Protease Inhibitors; Rifampin; Risperidone; Rufinamide; Salicylates; Temozolomide; Tricyclic Antidepressants; Vorinostat; Zidovudine. 19. History of seizures.

Locations and Contacts

Wendy A. Woodward, MD, PHD, Phone: 713-794-4892

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, United States; Recruiting
Additional Information

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Website

Starting date: August 2014
Last updated: July 28, 2015

Page last updated: August 20, 2015

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