Computer-guided randomized concentration-controlled trials of tacrolimus in autoimmunity: multiple sclerosis and primary biliary cirrhosis.
A randomized concentration-controlled clinical trial (RCCCT) is a trial design in which patients are randomized to predefined blood drug concentrations (low, medium, high). If the concentration ranges are sufficiently separated, this study design can reveal important blood concentration-response relations. Tacrolimus is a potent yet "infant" immunosuppressant for the treatment and prevention of graft rejection and has been shown to exhibit significant clinical activity in some immune-mediated disorders. A tacrolimus artificial intelligence modeling system (AIMS) was used to guide patient dosing to achieve target concentrations specified by the study protocols. In the Multiple Sclerosis study group, we were able to define a concentration range (0.3-0.7 ng/ml) that appeared to show efficacy and minimal tacrolimus toxicity. Patients randomized to the high zone (0.6-1.2 ng/ml) in the Primary Biliary Cirrhosis study group showed significant reduction (approximately 50%) in surrogate efficacy markers [aspartate aminotransferase (SGOT), alanine aminotransferase (SGPT)] compared with patients in the low zone (0.1-0.6 ng/ml). Therefore the RCCCT allowed the detection and delineation of clinically significant concentration-response relations in an ethical and efficient manner.
McMichael, J; Lieberman, R; McCauley, J; Irish, W; Marino, I; Doyle, H
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