Randomized controlled trial of intraputamenal glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor infusion in Parkinson disease

Anthony E. Lang, Steven Gill, Nik K. Patel, Andres Lozano, John G. Nutt, Richard Penn, David J. Brooks, Gary Hotton, Elena Moro, Peter Heywood, Matthew A. Brodsky, Kim Burchiel, Patrick Kelly, Arif Dalvi, Burton Scott, Mark Stacy, Dennis Turner, V. G.Frederich Wooten, William J. Elias, Edward R. LawsVijay Dhawan, A. Jon Stoessl, James Matcham, Robert J. Coffey, Michael Traub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

813 Scopus citations


Objective: Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) exerts potent trophic influence on midbrain dopaminergic neurons. This randomized controlled clinical trial was designed to confirm initial clinical benefits observed in a small, open-label trial using intraputamenal (Ipu) infusion of recombinant human GDNF (liatermin). Methods: Thirty-four PD patients were randomized 1 to 1 to receive bilateral continuous Ipu infusion of liatermin 15μg/putamen/day or placebo. The primary end point was the change in Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score in the practically defined off condition at 6 months. Secondary end points included other UPDRS scores, motor tests, dyskinesia ratings, patient diaries, and 18F-dopa uptake. Results: At 6 months, mean percentage changes in "off" UPDRS motor score were -10.0% and -4.5% in the liatermin and placebo groups, respectively. This treatment difference was not significant (95% confidence interval, -23.0 to 12.0, p = 0.53). Secondary end point results were similar between the groups. A 32.5% treatment difference favoring liatermin in mean 18F-dopa influx constant (p = 0.019) was observed. Serious, device-related adverse events required surgical repositioning of catheters in two patients and removal of devices in another. Neutralizing antiliatermin antibodies were detected in three patients (one on-study and two in the open-label extension). Interpretation: Liatermin did not confer the predetermined level of clinical benefit to patients with PD despite increased 18F-dopa uptake. It is uncertain whether technical differences between this trial and positive open-label studies contributed in any way this negative outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-466
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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