Multicenter, open-label study of recombinant human DNase in cystic fibrosis patients with moderate lung disease. DNase International Study Group

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1998 Sep;26(3):155-61. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-0496(199809)26:3<155::aid-ppul1>;2-k.


Cystic fibrosis is characterized by the accumulation of thick viscous purulent secretions. Recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I (rhDNase) breaks down extracellular DNA, which contributes to the increased viscosity of sputum. A multinational, open-label study was conducted in 974 cystic fibrosis patients with moderate lung disease [forced vital capacity (FVC) 40-70% of predicted values] to examine the safety and efficacy of aerosolized rhDNase, 2.5 mg, once daily over a period of at least 12 weeks. Patients were assessed under conditions reflecting routine clinical practice. During rhDNase therapy, at least one respiratory tract infection (RTI) requiring intravenous antibiotics was experienced by 29.5% of patients. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and FVC were significantly improved from baseline by a mean of 10.5% and 7.2%, respectively. Voice alteration and pharyngitis were the most frequent rhDNase-related adverse events, but only 2% of all patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. The results obtained were similar to a subanalysis of data from the first 3 months of a placebo-controlled U.S. study. The patients in the present study had a similar frequency of RTIs and improvement in pulmonary function, and reported fewer rhDNase-related and cystic fibrosis-related adverse events than patients in the U.S. study. We conclude that administration of rhDNase is safe, well tolerated, and effective under conditions reflecting routine clinical practice in patients with cystic fibrosis and moderate lung disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / administration & dosage
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / therapeutic use*
  • Expectorants / administration & dosage
  • Expectorants / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Expectorants
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • DNASE1 protein, human
  • Deoxyribonuclease I