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November 1994

A Phase II Multicenter, Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study of Three Dosages of an Immunomodulator (PGG-Glucan) in High-Risk Surgical Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Drs Babineau, Kenler, Bistrian, and Forse); New England Medical Center, Tufts Medical School (Drs Hackford and Benotti); University of Massachusetts Medical School (Drs Fairchild, Heard, Keroack, and Caushaj); and The Medical Center of Central Massachusetts (Drs Keroack and Caushaj), Boston. Dr Bistrian is a scientific advisor to Alpha-Beta Technology Inc, Worcester, Mass.

Arch Surg. 1994;129(11):1204-1210. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1994.01420350102014

Objective:  To examine the safety and efficacy of multiple doses of PGG-glucan (poly- [ 1-6]-B-Dglucopyranosyl-[ 1-3]-B-D-glucopyranose) in high-risk patients undergoing major thoracic or abdominal surgery.

Design:  An interventional, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

Setting:  Four university-affiliated medical centers.

Patients:  Sixty-seven high-risk patients undergoing major thoracic or abdominal surgery.

Intervention:  Patients were randomized in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to receive saline placebo or PGG-glucan at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg, 0.5 mg/kg, and 1.0 mg/kg or 2.0 mg/kg. One dose was administered before surgery and three doses were administered after surgery.

Main Outcome Measures:  To examine the safety and efficacy of PGG-glucan infusion and to identify potentially important factors for a planned phase III study.

Results:  A dose-response trend with regard to infection incidence among patients who received PGG-glucan was observed. Serious infections occurred in four patients who received placebo and in three patients who received PGG-glucan at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg. However, only one patient who received PGG-glucan at a high dose had a serious infection. The incidence and severity of adverse events was comparable in all groups.

Conclusions:  PGG-glucan was generally safe and well tolerated, may decrease postoperative infection rates, and warrants further investigation in a planned phase III trial.(Arch Surg. 1994;129:1204-1210)