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Bone Marrow Transplant

Montelukast for Bronchiolitis Obliterans Post Transplant (2317)
Multi-Institutional Phase II Study of Montelukast for the Treatment of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children and Adults
Status Conditions Phase Study ID
Closed Bronchiolitis Obliterans
Chronic Graft-versus-host Disease
Phase II FHCRC-2317

Bronchiolitis obliterans is a form of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that sometimes develops after stem cell transplantation (SCT) or bone marrow transplantation (BMT). In bronchiolitis obliterans, immune cells that normally fight infections attack the lungs of the transplant recipient, causing destruction of lung tissue and fibrosis (scarring). When fibrosis develops, the lungs cannot work properly.

Montelukast (Singulair) is a drug that has been used for many years to treat asthma. Its use as a treatment for bronchiolitis obliterans is experimental.

Trial Objectives:

  • To see if montelukast improves or stabilizes lung function in patients who develop bronchiolitis obliterans after BMT or SCT.
  • To assess the safety of montelukast in patients with bronchiolitis obliterans after BMT or SCT
  • To see if montelukast affects the cells that damage the lungs.
  • To see if montelukast improves other forms of chronic GVHD, quality of life, and overall survival in patients with bronchiolitis obliterans after BMT or SCT.

Paul Martin, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance 800-804-8824  
Eligibility Criteria (must meet the following to participate in this study)


Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years to 80 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Age greater than 6 years old.

Diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans after allogeneic or autologous stem cell transplant. The criteria will be based on the definitions created by the NIH consortium on cGVHD. As part of these criterion, for patients without pathologic evidence of BO, one other sign of chronic GVHD must be present. For diagnosis of cGVHD, a minimum of the following must be present: 1) a process distinct from that diagnosed as acute GVHD, 2) the presence of a diagnostic sign or a distinctive sign supported by another clinical or laboratory test, and 3) the exclusion of other pathologies (i.e. recurrent cancer, drug reaction or infection (see Appendix 5a for a list of diagnostic signs.). To meet criteria for a diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans, patients must fulfill all 3 criteria. Prior lung tissue biopsy will be analyzed and confirmed to show evidence of bronchiolitis obliterans by the NCI Laboratory of Pathology if available. If tissue is not available for confirmation, a new biopsy will not be performed.

For bronchiolitis obliterans:

  1. FEV1 less than or equal to 75 percent of predicted by pulmonary function evaluation for height and weight.
  2. Evidence of air-trapping or small airway thickening or bronchiectasis on high resolution chest CT and RV or RV/FVC greater than 120 percent and evidence of chronic GVHD of another organ, OR FEV1/ vital capacity (slow or forced VC whichever is larger) ratio less than 5 percent of predicted for age or less than 0.7, OR pathologic evidence of bronchiolar inflammation and obstruction of the lumen consistent with a diagnosis of BO. Pulmonary function tests will utilize body plethysmography not helium studies for pertinent values when there is a discrepancy if available.
  3. Absence of active infection with appropriate investigation of any clinical symptoms to include radiographic, microbiologic, and pathologic studies as determined by the PI or LAI.

    Patients must also have 2 PFT measurements with documented FEV1 values greater than 3 months apart to calculate the entry FEV1 slope. All available prior PFTs will be utilized for baseline slope calculation. For adult patients, the absolute FEV1 will be utilized for slope calculation; for pediatric patients, the percent predicted will be used. For patients enrolled after an acute decline following BMT without 2 post-BMT values greater than 3 months apart, the pre-BMT value may be utilized as the first value and the entry PFT value may be the second for the slope calculation. The baseline and 6th-cycle PFT should be done at the accruing site.

    Prior therapy: For patients with a chronic diagnosis of BO who have been on treatments, any prior therapy that has been administered chronically for > 3 months will be acceptable for enrollment as long as the patient has not demonstrated consistent improvement attributed to these agents in a one month (or more) period of observation preceding enrollment. For patients on steroids, a steroid burst exceeding and increase of one half mg/kg/day will be considered for the start of the 3 month monitoring period. Notably, documented intercurrent infections that are treated with antimicrobials that result in improvements to, but not above previous baselines will not be considered an improvement attributable to immunosuppressive therapy. Patients who have had consistent improvements in the months preceding trial entry will not be eligible since there will be no way to discern improvement due to montelukast versus another therapy. Alternatively, a patient with a new diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans characterized by a new decrease in FEV1 is also eligible for this study. Notably, patients who have received bronchodilators or other pulmonary therapies may be included in this study as long as montelukast is not part of this regimen.

    Performance status: Karnofsky or Lansky performance status greater than or equal to 40 percent (Appendix 1).

    Ability to give informed consent. For patients less than 18 years of age, their legal guardian must give informed consent. Pediatric patients will be included in an age appropriate discussion in accordance with NIH guidelines or participating institutional guidelines.

    Hepatic function: Patients must have evidence of adequate liver function prior to enrollment defined by total bilirubin less than 3 times the upper limit of normal and transaminases less than 5 times the upper limit of normal for age appropriate indices.

    Cardiac function: Patients must have evidence of adequate cardiac function prior to enrollment defined by ejection fraction greater than 25 percent performed within the last 6 months at NIH and absence of symptoms of cardiac disease at FHCRC, JHH, or Hackensack.

    Pulmonary function: Patients must have an FEV1 greater than or equal to 20 percent predicted for inclusion in this study.

Exclusions (conditions that would prevent participation in this study)
  • Underlying disease status: Patients with tumor burden greater than minimal residual disease (i.e. tumor burden that can only be detected by molecular methods) would be excluded from this study.
  • Prior post-transplant treatment with montelukast or zakirlukast within the past 2 months and total duration of therapy does not exceed 3 months.
  • Clinically significant systemic illness with manifestations of significant organ dysfunction which in the judgment of Principal or Associate Investigator would render the patient unlikely to tolerate the protocol therapy or complete the study.
  • Patients must have been on their current cGVHD therapeutic regimen for at least 3 months with stable or decreasing FEV1 to be eligible for this trial. Any patient who has been on a therapy for less than 3 months for cGVHD will need to be monitored for 3 months without improvement in FEV1 prior to enrollment.
  • Ventilated patients are excluded.
  • Patients taking rifampin or phenobarbital as these medications alter the metabolism of montelukast.
  • Patients taking greater than one age-appropriate dose of ibuprofen or aspirin containing products per day that inhibit cyclooxygenase will be excluded from this trial. The acceptable upper limit for adult daily doses of aspirin is 650mg/day and 800mg/day of ibuprophen. For children, the acceptable upper limit of ibuprophen is pediatric dose per day (less than 10 mg per kg to a maximum of 800 mg). Children should not take aspirin due to risk of Reye's syndrome unless specifically prescribed by their physician.
  • Patients with a history of allergy to montelukast.
  • Pregnant females and nursing mothers will be excluded from this trial due to unknown risks to the developing fetus. While on study, patients of child-bearing potential must be able to consent to utilize effective birth control measures.
Last Updated
September 10, 2014
See this trial at
Access protocol and consent forms at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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