Study protocol: DexaDays-2, hydrocortisone for treatment of dexamethasone-induced neurobehavioral side effects in pediatric leukemia patients: a double-blind placebo controlled randomized intervention study with cross-over design

A. M. van Hulst, E. J. Verwaaijen, M. F. Fiocco, S. M.F. Pluijm, M. A. Grootenhuis, R. Pieters, E. L.T. van den Akker, M. M. van den Heuvel-Eibrink

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Samenvatting

Background: Dexamethasone, a highly effective drug in treating pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), can induce serious neurobehavioral side effects. These side effects are experienced by patients and parents as detrimental with respect to health related quality of life (HRQoL). Based on previous studies, it has been suggested that neurobehavioral side effects are associated to cortisol depletion of the mineralocorticoid receptor in the brain. Our previously reported randomized controlled trial, the Dexadagen study (NTR3280), suggests that physiological hydrocortisone addition during dexamethasone treatment may overcome clinically relevant neurobehavioral problems in patients who experience these problems during dexamethasone treatment. With our current study, we aim to replicate these results in a targeted larger sample before further implementing this intervention into standard of care. Methods: In a national center setting, pediatric ALL patients between 3 and 18 years are enrolled in an Identification study, which identifies patients with clinically relevant dexamethasone-induced neurobehavioral side effects using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Contributing factors, such as genetic susceptibility, dexamethasone pharmacokinetics as well as psychosocial and family factors are studied to determine their influence in the inter-patient variability for developing dexamethasone-induced neurobehavioral side effects. Patients with clinically relevant problems (i.e. a rise of ≥ 5 points on the SDQ Total Difficulties Score after 5 days of dexamethasone) are subsequently included in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial with a cross-over design. They receive two courses placebo followed by two courses hydrocortisone during dexamethasone treatment, or vice versa, each time at least 16 days without study medication in between. The primary endpoint is change in SDQ score. The secondary endpoints are sleep (measured with actigraphy and the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children) and HRQoL (Pediatric Quality of Life Questionnaire). Discussion: The results of our current study may contribute to the management of future ALL patients who experience dexamethasone-induced neuropsychological problems as it may improve HRQoL for patients who suffer most from dexamethasone-induced neurobehavioral side effects. Furthermore, by investigating multiple risk factors that could be related to inter-patient variability in developing these side effects, we might be able to identify and treat patients who are at risk earlier during treatment. Trial registration: Medical Ethical Committee approval number: NL62388.078.17. Affiliation: Erasmus Medical Centre. Netherlands Trial Register: NL6507 (NTR6695). Registered 5 September 2017.

Originele taal-2Engels
Artikelnummer427
TijdschriftBMC Pediatrics
Volume21
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - dec. 2021

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