The safety and efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) were evaluated in adolescent patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and active or active/chronic class III-V lupus nephritis. During the 24-week induction phase, patients were randomized to oral MMF (target dose 3.0 g/day) or intravenous cyclophosphamide (IVC) (0.5-1.0 g/m(2)/month), plus prednisone. Response was defined as a decrease in 24-hour urine protein:creatinine ratio (P:Cr) to < 3 in patients with baseline nephrotic range proteinuria, or by ≥ 50% if subnephrotic baseline proteinuria, and stabilization (± 25%) or improvement in serum creatinine. In the 36-month maintenance phase, induction therapy responders were randomized 1:1 to MMF (1.0 g twice daily) or oral azathioprine (AZA) (2 mg/kg/day), plus prednisone. In the induction phase, 10 patients received MMF and 14 received IVC; 15 (62.5%) achieved treatment response (MMF, 7 (70%); IVC, 8/15 (57.1%); p = 0.53, odds ratio (95% confidence interval) 2.0 (0.2, 15.5)). There was a non-statistically significant difference in maintenance of response to MMF (7/8; 87.5%) versus AZA (3/8; 37.5%). Seven patients withdrew (MMF, 2; AZA, 5). During both phases, rates of serious adverse events were similar in both arms. During both phases treatment response with MMF was as effective as the comparator.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00377637.