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Low-Dose Oral Methotrexate Versus Colchicine for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Information source: Office of Rare Diseases (ORD)
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 20, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary

Intervention: colchicine (Drug); methotrexate (Drug); ursodiol (Drug)

Phase: Phase 3

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Marshall M. Kaplan, Study Chair, Affiliation: Tufts Medical Center


OBJECTIVES: I. Compare the efficacy of low-dose oral pulse methotrexate (MTX) and ursodiol versus colchicine and ursodiol in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). II. Determine the optimum dose and duration of MTX treatment. III. Investigate the role of fibrogenic cytokines (FC) in PBC pathogenesis and the effect of treatment on FC production.

Clinical Details

Official title: Phase III Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Low-Dose Oral Methotrexate Versus Colchicine for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Detailed description: PROTOCOL OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind study. Patients are stratified by prior/concurrent medical management. Patients in the first group are treated with oral methotrexate 3 times a week and a daily oral placebo. Patients in the second group are treated with daily oral colchicine and an oral placebo 3 times a week. Therapy continues for 10 years. Beginning year 2, daily oral ursodiol is administered to all patients. Patients with disease progression are crossed to the alternate group or undergo liver transplantation if clinically indicated.


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



- -Disease Characteristics-- Biopsy proven primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC);

Disproportionate increase in alkaline phosphatase; Positive antimitochondrial antibody test OR Symptoms consistent with PBC, e. g.: pruritus, fatigue, malaise, jaundice, elevated bilirubin No clinically advanced PBC, i. e.: bilirubin greater than 10 mg/dL or albumin less than 2. 5 g/dL, determined by 2 analyses 10 weeks apart; bleeding esophageal varices or congestive gastropathy; chronic hepatic encephalopathy; chronic ascites

- -Prior/Concurrent Therapy-- No concurrent drugs associated with chronic liver disease

- -Patient Characteristics--

Hematopoietic: WBC at least 2500 Platelets at least 100,000 (unless due to hypersplenism); Hematocrit at least 30% Renal: No renal disease that could cause liver dysfunction Other: No history of alcohol abuse; No other medical illness that might cause liver dysfunction, e. g., severe cardiac failure; No pregnant women

Locations and Contacts

Additional Information

Starting date: November 1989
Last updated: June 23, 2005

Page last updated: August 20, 2015

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