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Boston, Massachusetts 02115


Childhood Lead Poisoning is a widespread disease that has few effective treatments. The specific aims of this proposed clinical trial are threefold: - To determine whether a six-week course of a newly formulated d-penicillamine suspension will effectively reduce blood lead level in children aged 6 months to 16 years with blood lead levels of 15-25 μg/dL. - To determine whether d-penicillamine chelation produces a sustained reduction in blood lead level in comparison with succimer and other lead chelators which always produce a significant post-treatment "rebound". - To determine whether chelation with d-penicillamine improves the physiologic disturbances that can be measured in children with blood lead levels in this range.

Study summary:

Approximately 300,000 children in the US have elevated blood lead levels (10 mcg/dl or greater). Lead poisoning in children is unequivocally harmful, producing the neurodevelopmental consequences of cognitive losses, attentional difficulties and behavioral disturbances, including antisocial or delinquent tendencies. Non-neurodevelopmental consequences of lead poisoning include impairment of heme synthesis, reduction in 1- hydroxylation of 25(OH) - cholecalciferol (the Vitamin D precursor) and renal injury that results in microproteniuria, an increased risk of hypertension and a greater likelihood of renal failure in adulthood. Despite these well-defined toxicities, treatments for childhood lead poisoning have been inadequate. Currently, chelation therapy is uniformly recommended only for children with severe lead poisoning (blood lead > 45 mcg/dl). Approved chelating agents for severe plumbism are CaNa2EDTA and succimer. For children with blood lead levels less than 45 mcg/dl treatment is fraught with difficulties including inconsistent recommendations by clinical experts, lack of proven benefit of chelation and the absence of a chelating agent approved for use in this range. d-Penicillamine is a lead chelator that has been used off-label for almost 4 decades. Several studies have suggested that d-penicillamine is both safe and effective in the treatment of low-level lead poisoning. We propose to evaluate, in a Phase II/III randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the effectiveness of d-penicillamine in 50 children aged 6 months to 16 years with blood lead levels 15-25 mcg/dl. The d-penicillamine product will be a newly developed, IND-approved liquid formulation. The study will be performed in the Pediatric Environmental Health Center of Children's Hospital Boston. The primary outcome measure will be the ability of a 6-week course of d-penicillamine to produce sustained reductions in blood lead level. Secondary outcome measures will be normalization of non-neurodevelopmental physiologic aberrations known to occur with lead poisoning, specifically abnormalities in heme and Vitamin D synthesis. If this clinical trial demonstrates safety and efficacy, d-penicillamine will potentially provide another option among the limited treatment choices for lead-poisoned children. This trial will also provide a basis for examining the drug's efficacy in improving neurodevelopment outcome in children exposed to harmful amounts of lead.


Inclusion Criteria: - Potential subjects will be children 6 months to 16 years of age with blood lead level 15-25 mcg/dL on two separate occasions separated by at least two weeks Exclusion Criteria: - allergic to d-penicillamine - renal insufficiency - taking immunosuppressive agents - pre-existing idiopathic thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 100,000/mm3) or leukopenia (WBC count < 5,000/mm3 or polymorphonuclear leukocyte count < 1000/mm3) - blood lead level on the day of the initial clinic visit is below15 μg/dL or above 25 μg/dL - blood lead level at the two-week follow up visit rises above 25 mcg/dL or falls below 15 mcg/dL - currently undergoing chelation or have had chelation therapy in the previous two months



Primary Contact:

Study Director
Michael W Shannon, MD
Children's Hospital Boston

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Boston, Massachusetts 02115
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 18, 2018

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