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Improved Understanding of the Biology and Use of TNF Inhibition in Children With JIA

Phase 4
4 Years
20 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

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Trial Information

Improved Understanding of the Biology and Use of TNF Inhibition in Children With JIA

Juvenile arthritis is a chronic disease affecting approximately 250,000 people younger than
16 years of age in the United States. Its symptoms include swelling, pain, and damage in the
joints. Juvenile arthritis can take four different forms, including poly JIA. Poly JIA
affects five or more joints, generally the smaller ones in wrists and fingers, causing
stiffness, joint damage, and sometimes eye inflammation in the children and adolescents who
suffer from it. Approximately 30% of people with juvenile arthritis have Poly JIA.

Treatment for juvenile arthritis involves drugs with escalating strength, depending on what
each individual responds to best. The first treatment option is non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Motrin IB and Aleve. The second treatment option
is methotrexate (MTX). About 30% to 50% of poly JIA patients are effectively treated with
MTX. Only if the patient does not respond to MTX is an anti-TNF drug used. Anti-TNF drugs
often result in profound disease improvement, but unfortunately, they can have toxic side
effects and are expensive.

For people whose poly JIA is inactive or minimally active on MTX or anti-TNF drugs, 50% to
80% experience a worsening of symptoms once they stop taking the medications. Most of these
flare-ups occur within 8 months of stopping treatment. Currently, there is no way to predict
which people with poly JIA can safely stop anti-TNF medications. This study will evaluate
two different factors—levels of certain calcium binding proteins and production of TNF—for
their use in predicting whether people with poly JIA are likely to experience a disease
flare-up once they stop anti-TNF treatment. The study will also look for genetic markers
that can serve as predictors of safe discontinuation of anti-TNF treatment.

Participation in this study will last up to 14 months and involve up to nine study visits.
Visits will be conducted at study entry and after 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14 months. The
first three study visits will involve tests to determine baseline health indicators and to
ensure inactive disease. If, after 6 months, participants continue to have inactive disease,
they will be taken off their anti-TNF medications. For the remainder of the study, visits
will be used to monitor disease activity. If participants experience any clinically defined
disease flare-ups, they will immediately stop participating in the study and begin
additional treatment as prescribed by their health care providers. At all study visits,
participants will undergo a general physical examination, a joint examination,
questionnaires about how the disease affects their lives, and blood collection for research

Inclusion Criteria:

- Diagnosis of polyarticular JIA (rheumatoid factor + and rheumatoid factor -) or
extended oligo JIA by the International League of Associations for Rheumatology
(ILAR) criteria

- Receiving therapy with one of the currently available anti-TNF biologics: infliximab,
etanercept, or adalimumab

- Absence of any of the FDA label exclusions for anti-TNF therapy

- Receiving slit lamp exams performed at regular intervals in accordance with the
published American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines

- Baseline hemoglobin >10 g/dl

- Absence of joints with active arthritis, using the American College of Rheumatology
(ACR) definition of "active joint"

- Absence of fever, rash, serositis, splenomegaly, or generalized lymphadenopathy
attributable to JIA

- Absence of active uveitis, as per an exam by an ophthalmologist

- Normal erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP); if above
normal range, must be not attributable to JIA

- Physician's global assessment of disease activity indicating absence of disease
activity, defined as the best score obtainable on the scale used

- Duration of morning stiffness less than or equal to 15 minutes

Exclusion Criteria:

- Diagnosis of a type of JIA other than polyarticular JIA

- Diagnosis of another inflammatory disease that may affect laboratory results or
ability to discontinue anti-TNF biologic therapy

- Concurrent treatment with any biologic agent other than infliximab, etanercept, or

- previous treatment with rituximab

- concurrent treatment for JIA with corticosteroids >0.2 mg/kg/day OR >10 mg/day

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics/Dynamics Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Disease flare, defined as demonstrating at least a 30% worsening in at least 3 of the 6 JIA Core Set parameters with no more than 1 improving by more than 30%

Outcome Time Frame:

Measured at nine study visits over 14 months

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Daniel J. Lovell, MD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:



United States: Federal Government

Study ID:

P60 AR047784-Project 2



Start Date:

June 2009

Completion Date:

October 2013

Related Keywords:

  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • Poly JIA
  • TNF
  • Remission
  • Arthritis
  • Arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid



Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland, Ohio  44195
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, South Carolina  29425-0721
Children's National Medical Center Washington, District of Columbia  20010-2970
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  15213
Phoenix Children's Hospital Phoenix, Arizona  85016-7710
Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia  30322
Children's Hospital of Alabama Birmingham, Alabama  35233
Connecticut Children's Medical Center Hartford, Connecticut  06106
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin  53201
Children's Hospital at Montefiore Bronx, New York  10467
Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute Little Rock, Arkansas  72202
Comer Children's Hospital University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois  60637
University of Louisville Research Foundation Louisville, Kentucky  40202
Joseph M Sanzari Children's Hospital Hackensack, New Jersey  07601
Cohen Children's Medical Center of NY New Hyde Park, New York  11040
Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio  45229