Background: Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis is characterized by the irreversible dilatation of the medium-sized bronchi as a result of airway injury from recurrent or chronic inflammation and lower respiratory tract infections. Bronchiectasis airways are commonly colonized with bacterial species. Infections of the airways play important role in bronchiectasis exacerbations. The non-specific prevention of recurrent airway infections by immunostimulating agents has gained growing interest. OM-85, consisting of extracts of eight kinds of bacteria important in respiratory infections, could support the respiratory tract resistance to the pathogens. OM-85 has been shown to be a benefit by decreasing the risk of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in several perspective clinical trials. Exacerbation of bronchiectasis substantially contributes to a more rapid decline in lung function, reduced quality of life, and healthcare costs. In this context, we plan to conduct a clinical trial to investigate the PReventive effect of OM-85 on Bronchiectasis Exacerbation in Chinese patients (iPROBE).
Methods/design: This study is designed as a prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. A total of 244 patients with bronchiectasis, who have had at least one exacerbation of bronchiectasis in the previous year, will be included. The subjects will randomly receive two courses of 7 mg of OM-85 or a matching placebo. The treatment dose of OM-85 will be one daily capsule taken orally for 10 days each month for 3 consecutive months at the beginning of the study, followed by 3 months of no drug. This schedule will repeat until the patient has been seen for one year.
Discussion: We will investigate whether long-term treatment with an oral immunostimulant (OM-85) could decrease exacerbations of bronchiectasis over a one-year period. We will also assess other relevant outcomes, including the rate of event-based exacerbation, lung function parameters, and total scores judged by the St George's respiratory questionnaire, Leicester cough questionnaire, and inflammatory index. We hope that this study will provide new information on the preventive effects of OM-85 on bronchiectasis exacerbations and will address a knowledge gap for this understudied disease.
Trial registration: This study is registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov (identifier NCT01968421) on 19 October 2013.