Efficacy and safety of thalidomide for the treatment of severe recurrent epistaxis in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia: Results of a non-randomised, single-centre, phase 2 study

Rosangela Invernizzi, Federica Quaglia, Catherine Klersy, Fabio Pagella, Federica Ornati, Francesco Chu, Elina Matti, Giuseppe Spinozzi, Sara Plumitallo, Pierangela Grignani, Carla Olivieri, Raffaella Bastia, Francesca Bellistri, Cesare Danesino, Marco Benazzo, Carlo L. Balduini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia is a genetic disease that leads to multiregional angiodysplasia. Severe recurrent epistaxis is the most common presentation, frequently leading to severe anaemia. Several therapeutic approaches have been investigated, but they are mostly palliative and have had variable results. We aimed to assess the efficacy of thalidomide for the reduction of epistaxis in patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia that is refractory to standard therapy. Methods: We recruited patients aged 17 years or older with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia who had severe recurrent epistaxis refractory to minimally invasive surgical procedures into an open-label, phase 2, non-randomised, single-centre study at IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation (Pavia, Italy). We gave patients thalidomide at a starting dose of 50 mg/day orally. If they had no response, we increased the thalidomide dose by 50 mg/day increments every 4 weeks, until a response was seen, up to a maximum dose of 200 mg/day. After patients had achieved a response, they continued treatment for 8-16 additional weeks. The primary endpoint was the efficacy of thalidomide measured as the percentage of patients who had reductions of at least one grade in the frequency, intensity, or duration of epistaxis. We followed up patients each month to assess epistaxis severity score and transfusion need, and any adverse events were reported. We included all patients who received any study drug and who participated in at least one post-baseline assessment in the primary efficacy population. The safety population consisted of all patients who received any dose of study treatment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01485224. Findings: Between Dec 1, 2011, and May 12, 2014, we enrolled 31 patients. Median follow-up was 15·9 months (IQR 10·1-22·3). Three (10%, 95% CI 2-26) patients had a complete response, with bleeding stopped, 28 (90%, 95% CI 74-98) patients had partial responses. Overall, all 31 (100%, 89-100) patients responded to therapy with a significant decrease in all epistaxis parameters (p

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Lancet Haematology
Volume2
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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