A trial looking to determine the best treatment for connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung diseases (CTD-ILD) has been granted additional funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Connective tissue disease refers to autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, all of which affect multiple organs in the body. Patients who have connective tissue disease are often diagnosed with associated interstitial lung disease due to the high activity of their immune system, which causes inflammation and scarring of lung tissue. This damage to the lung has the potential to cause severe breathlessness and even death and, as such, effective treatments are urgently needed.
RECITAL, as the research study is known, is led by Professor Toby Maher and aims to compare two drugs, cyclophosphamide and rituximab, to determine which is best for the treatment of CTD-ILD.
Cyclophosphamide is the current standard of care for patients with severe or progressive CTD-ILD in the NHS and rituximab is an immunosuppressant drug which has traditionally been used to treat other immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The additional funding will allow the researchers to continue the trial and recruit more patients. So far, a total of 95 patients have been enrolled onto the study and 11 UK centres are open to recruitment, with Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust having recruited the majority of patients so far.
The study aims to complete recruitment by June 2020 with first results anticipated in June 2021.
To read more about the study please click here.
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