A survey of the feasibility of developing osteoporosis clinical trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Survey of the opinion of young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, families and clinicians

Clinical Trials
Volume 18 Issue 1, February 2021
https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/ctja/18/1

 

Articles
A survey of the feasibility of developing osteoporosis clinical trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Survey of the opinion of young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, families and clinicians
Sze Choong Wong, Shuko Joseph, Nadia Capaldi, Marina Di Marco, Jennifer Dunne, Michela Guglieri, Iain Horrocks, Volker Straub, S Faisal Ahmed, the UK NorthStar Clinical Network
First Published October 4, 2020; pp. 39–50Abstract
Abstract
Background/aims
Given the extent of osteoporosis in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy treated with glucocorticoids and the limited evidence of bone-protective therapies, clinical trials are needed. We conducted surveys to obtain the opinion of young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, parents/guardians and neuromuscular clinicians on the feasibility of osteoporosis clinical trials in this population.
Methods
Online surveys were sent to three groups: (a) people with a confirmed diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (≥14 years), (b) parents and guardians and (c) neuromuscular clinicians in the UK NorthStar Clinical Network. Surveys (a) and (b) were distributed via the UK Duchenne muscular dystrophy Registry.
Results
Survey respondents included 52 people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy with a median age of 17 years (range: 14, 40) and 183 parents/guardians. Fourteen out of 23 (61%) NorthStar centres responded. Of the 52 people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, 13 (25%) were very concerned about their bone health and 21 (40%) were slightly concerned. Of the 183 parents/guardians, 75 (41%) were very concerned about their son’s bone health and 90 (49%) were slightly concerned. Fractures and quality of life were the top two main outcome measures identified by people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Fractures and bone density were the top two main outcome measures identified by parents/guardians and neuromuscular clinicians. Thirty percent of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and 40% of parents/guardians would not take part if an osteoporosis trial involved a placebo that was administered parenterally. Only 2 of the 14 NorthStar centres (14%) would enrol people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy if a parenteral placebo was used in an osteoporosis trial in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Conclusion
There is great awareness of bone health and the need for bone-protective trials among people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their carers. However, a proportion of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and parents are reluctant to participate in a placebo-controlled osteoporosis trial that included a parenteral therapy. A larger proportion of health care experts are unwilling to enrol their patients in such a trial. Our finding is relevant for the design of bone-protective studies in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.