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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Combination Therapy Stroke Trial: recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator with/without lubeluzole.

BACKGROUND: A neuroprotective drug may be safe and effective if given very early and in combination with recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) to acute stroke patients. No clinical trial has yet tested this hypothesis. OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility, safety and efficacy of simultaneously combining the neuroprotective drug lubeluzole with rt-PA. METHOD: Patients who qualified for and received rt-PA within 3 h of symptom onset were randomly allocated 1:1 to lubeluzole (7.5 mg i.v. over 1 h, then continuous 5-day infusion of 10 mg/day) or placebo. Infusion of the study medication was started before the end of the 1-hour rt-PA infusion. Inclusion criteria were the same as those of the FDA-approved guidelines for rt-PA, plus National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) >5 and absence of serious ventricular arrhythmia, atrioventricular block or Q-T >450 ms. EKG was continuously monitored until 48 h after treatment. The primary outcomes were adverse events, especially hemorrhage and severe arrhythmia, and functionality as determined by the Barthel Index divided into >70,0-70 and dead. RESULTS: 89 patients were randomized at 34 centers over 8 months. The study was terminated by the sponsor before the planned enrollment of 200 patients when a concurrent phase 3 trial of lubeluzole versus placebo given up to 8 h after stroke was negative. In our study, the mean NIHSS was 14.5, and the mean time from symptom onset to rt-PA was 2.5 h and to randomization to lubeluzole or placebo 3.2 h. Mortality was 26%, intracerebral hemorrhage occurred in 10% and serious adverse events in 51%. There were no differences between the two treatment groups in any of these variables, outcomes or in the Barthel Index or other measures of functionality. CONCLUSION: Combining neuroprotective drugs such as lubeluzole simultaneously with rt-PA is feasible and safe. The efficacy of this strategy, using a potentially more effective neuroprotective agent, should be evaluated in an adequately powered clinical trial.[1]


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