Thalidomide use in cutaneous sarcoidosis is based on data from small case series or case reports. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of thalidomide in severe cutaneous sarcoidosis.
This study consisted of a randomized, double-bind, parallel, placebo-controlled, investigator-masked, multicenter trial lasting 3 months and an open-label study from month 3 to month 6. Adults with a clinical and histologic diagnosis of cutaneous sarcoidosis were included in nine hospital centers in France. Patients were randomized 1:1 to oral thalidomide (100 mg once daily) or to a matching oral placebo for 3 months. In the course of an open-label follow-up from month 3 to month 6, all patients received thalidomide, 100 mg to 200 mg daily. The proportions of patients with a partial or complete cutaneous response at month 3, based on at least a 50% improvement in three target lesions scored for area and infiltration, were compared across randomization groups.
The intent-to-treat population included 39 patients. None of them had a complete cutaneous response. Four out of 20 patients in the thalidomide group (20%) vs four out of 19 patients in the placebo group (21%) had a partial cutaneous response at month 3 (difference in proportion of −1% [95% CI, −26% to +24%] for thalidomide vs placebo, P = 1.0). Eight patients with side effects were recorded in the thalidomide group vs three in the placebo group. We observed a large number of adverse event-related discontinuations in patients taking thalidomide in the first 3 months (four patients with thalidomide, zero with placebo) and in the 3 following months (five patients).
At a dose of 100 mg daily for 3 months, our results do not encourage thalidomide use in cutaneous sarcoidosis.
ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT0030552; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov