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Clinical Trial Summary

The study will assess the safety of low doses of epirubicin in sepsis patients. Therefore the study will look for side effects in patients treated with low dose epirubicin compared to control patients. In animals, low dose epirubicin has been shown to induce tolerance to infection and increase survival in septic mice. The study will also look for positive effects on organ function in humans. The investigators hypothesize that low-dose epirubicin can be used therapeutically to improve the disease course and lessen mortality of patients with sepsis. In a first step, the investigators aim at proving that low-dose epirubicin can safely be administered to sepsis patients and will perform a dose-escalation multi-center trial.


Clinical Trial Description

There are two ways for organism to deal with infection. Resistance, which means elimination of infectious microorganisms by the immune system, is widely recognized. It can be supported by antibiotic medication and surgical or interventional drainage of an infectious focus. The other response is tolerance, which means limiting organ damage without fighting the infection itself. Its importance has become more clearly recently, but so far there are no therapeutic interventions to support this mechanism. Epirubicin is a chemotherapeutic substance used to treat cancer. In animal experiments, it has been shown that doses much lower than the ones used in oncology, can induce tolerance in infected animals. Animals treated with epirubicin survive an infectious dose that kills animals not treated with epirubicin. Before this approach can be studied in a large group of sepsis patients, it is necessary that epirubicin in low doses can be safely used in this population. Therefore in this study, septic patients will be treated with low doses of epirubicin and systematically assessed for serious side effects. Some patients will be treated with placebo for comparison. The trial will be conducted as a dose escalation study with three groups. This means that the first group of patients will receive only a quarter of the dose shown to be effective in animal experiments. Only if no serious side effects are observed will the dose be increased in the second group and again in the third group. In addition, the study will look for signs of beneficial effects on organ function in human patients with sepsis, pharmacokinetics of epirubicin in sepsis patients and changes in the inflammatory response. The investigators hypothesize that low-dose epirubicin can be used therapeutically to improve the disease course and lessen mortality of patients with sepsis. In a first step, the investigators aim at proving that low-dose epirubicin can safely be administered to sepsis patients and will perform a phase IIa dose-escalation multi-center trial. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05033808
Study type Interventional
Source Jena University Hospital
Contact Sebastian Weis, M.D.
Phone +49 (0) 3641-932
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase Phase 2
Start date September 2021
Completion date November 2023

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