PANTHER-IPF stopped early; prednisone + azathioprine don't work for IPF (Thorax)
Please also see the newer post describing the final results of PANTHER-IPF, published in NEJM 2012.
PANTHER-IPF, a landmark clinical trial testing commonly used therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, was stopped in October 2011 for apparent harm caused to patients by prednisone and azathioprine. This news was released back then, but maybe you missed it, as did I (trial stoppages for safety reasons rarely are announced as loudly as they deserve).
PANTHER-IPF was a 3-armed randomized trial conducted by the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute, testing triple-therapy of prednisone, azathioprine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) vs NAC alone vs placebo alone in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). They've enrolled 238 of 390 planned subjects.
In October 2011, they stopped the triple-therapy arm early, because (compared to placebo), more people getting triple therapy died (11% vs. 1%), were hospitalized (29% vs. 8%) and had serious adverse events (31% vs. 9%). The NAC and placebo arms will continue on.
NHLBI investigators will start publishing this in journals mid this year throughout next, they say.
McGrath EE. Hot off the breath: triple therapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis—hear the PANTHER roar. Thorax 2012;67:97-98.
PANTHER-IPF study. Questions and Answers. NHLBI website.
Final results of PANTHER-IPF, NEJM 2012.